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San Jose Barracuda

Scott Reedy Embraces Transition to Center



Credit: San Jose Barracuda

Scott Reedy has gone through the wringer over the course of his hockey career, constantly facing adjustments to further his game.

Reedy’s newest assignment within the San Jose Sharks system has been to play up the middle at the center position.

The 22-year-old forward is used to playing on the wing during his playing days at the University of Minnesota and his first handful games with the San Jose Barracuda in 2020-21.

Entering his first full season with the Barracuda, Reedy is embracing another challenge from the organization, but that’s nothing new to him.

“They’ve talked to me about playing wing and center,” Reedy said. “It’s something I’ve adjusted to every game. Now I’m back. Being able to play both, play a heavy game and score big goals is a big emphasis from what I hear from up top.”

One of four Barracuda skaters to play in all 12 games, Reedy currently leads the San Jose Barracuda with eight goals and his 12 points rank first alongside Noah Gregor, whose hot hand was recently called up to the San Jose Sharks amidst their four-game homestand.

Reedy has benefited from playing alongside Gregor and Jayden Halbgewachs, the team’s top line for the bulk of the young season. With several COVID-19 complications and a Joel Kellman injury, Reedy has been promoted to earn more ice time centering the first line where he has learned a thing or two from teammate Sasha Chmelevski.

“Nothing changes with his attitude and that’s what I’ve learned from him,” Reedy said. “I’ve understood his habits and his approach to the game. I’ve taken a few tricks in the dot as well. He’s definitely a guy I look up to.”

Reedy and Chmelevski are no strangers to one another. The two faced each other at the age of 9 in a Las Vegas tournament. The two were drafted by the San Jose Sharks in the 2017 class and competed together on the U.S. National U18 team in a two-game tournament .

“We always called him ‘The Russian’,” Reedy said, recalling the tournament in Vegas. “He would be buzzing around with a red helmet. We had a double overtime that we beat him in I remember vividly. I always thought he was an unreal player growing up. It’s pretty cool our paths have crossed this far down the line.”

Reedy is not the fastest of skaters on the ice. However, he makes up for his speed with his crafty movements and opportunistic executions, which have made him a sneaky threat early this season.

His happy zone is right around the blue paint, an area where the 6-foot-2 forward has made four of his eight goals, three more than he scored in 17 games during his short stint wearing teal last year.

This week, Reedy netted his first multi-goal performance and second three-point game of his career against Bakersfield, including his team-leading fourth power play goal of the season. His 50% shooting percentage ranks second in the American Hockey League, behind only Max McCormick of the Charlotte Checkers.

Barracuda head coach Roy Sommer has noticed his knack for the net and competitive drive, which has allotted more playing time for the second-year skater.

“He’s hard and heavy on pucks in the offensive zone,” Sommer said. “We’re playing him a lot and all over the place, even on that top power-play unit. He’s definitely taken a jump from his first year driving harder to the chippy areas. He’s been a pleasant surprise for us.”

A pleasant surprise is the best way to sum up Reedy’s year so far. The Barracuda need him to continue his scoring ways as they ride steady in the middle of the pack of the Pacific Division standings a month into the season.

What does Reedy need to do to one day earn a promotion to the San Jose Sharks?

“He needs to keep playing like he’s doing,” Sommer said. “He’s heavy on pucks. He’s in the right spot. He is stopping at the net and getting rebounds. He’s been a good net-front on the power play. Earlier I don’t think he was doing these things at training camp, but he’s really starting to fulfill what they see in him right now.”

Reedy’s Rise in Hockey

The native of Prior Lake, Minnesota started skating at age of two years old with his family. Reedy says his older brother, Will Reedy, was his role model, following in his footsteps.

“I’d always go his games and watch his games. I wanted to be like him growing up,” Reedy said. “That’s who propelled me into hockey. My interest in the game took off from there.”

After three years with Shattuck St. Mary’s, a prestigious teenage program in Faribault, Minnesota, Reedy leveled up his game with the U.S. National Development Program, playing with the likes of Quinn Hughes, Brady Tkachuk, and Josh Norris and collecting 96 points in 116 games.

“It was competitive every day,” Reedy said. “It taught you a lot playing against older guys the first year. The second year, there was a lot of development and scoring a ton of goals. It was really a lot of fun and an honor to represent my country and play overseas facing those other countries.”

Reedy spent four years at the University of Minnesota — an easy choice for his scholarship to play close to home. However, he suffered few setbacks with a pair of injuries, including a torn labrum in his left shoulder during his sophomore year.

It taught him a valuable lesson of fighting adversity and not slowing down the trajectory of his talent as a 2017 fourth-round selection by the San Jose Sharks after a solid first-year campaign with the Golden Gophers.

“It was just about staying confident and refining my game once I was healthy,” Reedy said. “Sometimes injuries can put you behind the curve and leave you with less opportunities, but I was able to face that adversity and come out on top after that. I turned it around my junior year.”

In a pivotal senior campaign, Reedy averaged a point-per-game pace with 28 points while earning a nomination as a Hobey Baker semifinalist. That was rewarding for Reedy to get back on track after the tough shoulder ailment.

“I think it’s important to dominate at the level you play at before moving up,” Reedy said. “That’s the best for development and keeping your confidence where it should be. I put good numbers in final year and that made me feel good coming into San Jose.”

Since his shoulder injury, Reedy takes extra precaution by doing more in strengthening that area during maintenance and workouts.

“I’ve utilized the trainers and some extra exercises from the course of my rehab,” Reedy said. “I just stay on top of it now. It’s incorporated into my everyday practices.”

Barracuda Comebacks Fall Short Against Gulls

The Barracuda dropped consecutive home games against the San Diego Gulls by scores of 4-3 and 2-1. San Jose had been known for its late comebacks early this season, but a pursuit by the Barracuda fell short twice.

On Friday, Jayden Halbgewachs collected his second career three-point night. Goaltender Zachary Sawchenko surrendered four goals on 34 shots.

Forward Jeffrey Viel returned from surgery on his finger and registered a shot on goal and a -1 rating while serving a role on the second unit of the power play.

The next day, Barracuda trailed again 2-0 after the first period. Scott Reedy collected his team-leading fourth power-play goal as the lone Barracuda tally. Alexei Melnichuk made 22 saves on 24 shots. San Jose falls to 2-3-1 on home ice.

Sommer spoke candidly about his team’s struggles out of the gate this season.

“The biggest thing is we’re sitting back and letting other guys seeing who’s going to get the job done,” Sommer said. “We don’t have that urgency that we need. In the second and third periods, we’re finally popping into gear and making those plays. We have to find a way to play a full 60.”

Forwards Joel Kellman and John Leonard were absent from both games. While Kellman was still out from his sustained concussion against Abbotsford, Leonard has a strain in his lower body and is a possibility to return for the road trip. Kellman also had a setback and likely won’t make the trip to San Diego.

The Barracuda continue their mini-series against the Gulls through the Thanksgiving week on Wednesday and Friday.

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