The East Amherst, New York, native was a big scorer in juniors before attending the NCAA D-1 school.

The Fayetteville Marksmen have signed forward Nolan Sheeran to a Southern Professional Hockey League contract.

Sheeran, a 5-foot-11, 186-pounder from East Amherst, New York, played four years at Canisius College, which competes in NCAA Division I hockey. The Golden Griffins were 70-62-1 during his time there, including a 21-11-7 season during his junior year.

Sheeran played in 120 games at Canisius and scored only 24 points. Marksmen coach Jesse Kallechy believes Sheeran has the potential to be much more of a scorer for the Marksmen.

"He has a really high work ethic. He played in a lot of penalty-kill and defensive situations, and I don't think he ever really got a chance offensively," Kallechy said. "I think he got pigeon-holed into a role because you look at his numbers in juniors and you see that he can score."

Prior to attending Canisius, Sheeran played two full seasons for the Buffalo Junior Sabres of the Ontario Junior Hockey League and scored 100 points in 108 games. In the 2013-14 season, he averaged more than a point per game with 19 goals and 38 assists.

"I think he's going to be a good player and a good fit for us," Kallechy said.

Sheeran has two cousins who played in the NHL last season: Brendan Smith of the New York Rangers and Reilly Smith of the Las Vegas Golden Knights, the season's Stanley Cup runner-up.

The Marksmen open the 2018-19 SPHL season with a home game on Fri., Oct. 19, against the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs.

Sports Editor Thomas Pope can be reached at tpope@fayobserver.com or 486-3520.