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Irish in the NHL

Check out how some former ND Hockey players are doing in the National Hockey League.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Riley Sheahan - Detroit Red Wings: Sheahan has been playing well in his first full season with the NHL club. The 23 year old center has 8 goals and 13 assists, and has played in every game for the Wings this season. The center was rewarded with a new contract last offseason that will keep in Detroit for two more seasons before becoming a restricted free agent. Playing with Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar, Riley can typically be found in front of the net using his size to screen goalies and knock in rebounds. Detroit is currently tied for second in the tough Atlantic Division, and we should see a lot of the young center down the rest of the way and in the playoffs. Coach Babcock has praised the center's two way play, but he has to be excited by hands like these.

Anders Lee - New York Islanders: The New York Islanders have been one of the NHL's biggest surprises this season, and Lee has been a big reason why. The young left-winger is fourth on the team with 13 goals including a team leading (and second in the league) five game winners. Lee was somewhat controversially left off the team's initial roster, but he was promoted to the NHL team before the end of October where he is currently playing on the second line. The Islanders are currently atop the Metropolitan Division and have the most points in the Eastern Conference. If you're watching an Isles game, look for Lee at the top of the crease giving defenseman and goaltenders fits with his size.

Kyle Palmieri - Anaheim Ducks: Palmieri has battled injuries throughout this season, but when healthy, the right winger has put up outstanding numbers for Anaheim. Kyle is currently playing on the second line alongside longtime Canucks center Ryan Kesler who moved to Anaheim over the summer. The 23 year-old Palmieri has 9 goals, three of which were game winners, to go with 5 assists in 23 games in the 14/15 season. The winger has had a bit of puck-luck as he's shooting an unsustainable 22.9%, but there's no denying the talent of the 23 year old. Palmieri's Ducks are leading the Pacific Divison and Western Conference in points.

Erik Condra - Ottawa Senators: Condra is off to a slow start for the struggling Ottawa Senators. The right winger has 4 goals and 4 assists on the fourth line. Condra has regressed since lighting up the AHL when he scored at nearly a point-per-game in 2010/11. His first two seasons in the NHL when he recorded a point in roughly every third game. After going to Europe during the latest lock-out (thank Bettman) Condra has yet to return the to same form. His point rate dropped in the shortened season after the lockout before recording just 6 goals and 10 assists in 76 games in 2013/14. Although he's ahead of that pace this season, his still behind where he was a couple seasons ago.

Photo Credit - Russel LeBounty USA Today

Ian Cole - St. Louis Blues: Cole is the only former ND defenseman that is currently logging minutes in the NHL. Ian is second among Blues defensemen in +/-, and has five points (3 g 2 a) on the season. Cole has primarily been part of the bottom defensive pairing for St. Louis averaging around 15:00 of ice time per game. Cole's minutes have decreased in January, which might be something to watch the rest of the season.

Bryan Rust - Pittsburgh Penguins: Bryan Rust made his debut in Pittsburgh December 13 after starting the season in the AHL. Rust scored his first NHL goal in his next game against Tampa Bay. Since then however, the rookie has recorded just one point in Pittsburgh. He was reassigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton January 14, but not before his teammates had some fun at his expense.