NAPHL grad Pinto makes NHL debut with Ottawa | North American Prospects Hockey League | NAPHL
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NAPHL grad Pinto makes NHL debut with Ottawa

April 18, 2021

Shane Pinot played in the NAPHL during the 2015-16 season, which included an appearance in the 2016 NAHL 16U All-Star Game.

Former NAPHL forward and All-Star Shane Pinto made his NHL debut on Saturday night for the Ottawa Senators in their 4-0 win over the Montreal Canadiens.

Pinto was selected by the Ottawa Senators in the 2nd round, #32 overall in the 2019 NHL Draft. Pinto played in the NAPHL during the 2015-16 season with the New York Aviators 16U team. The 6’2/192 lbs. native of Franklin Square, New York, led the Aviators in scoring that season, recording 23 points (8 goals, 15 assists) in 25 NAPHL games played. For his efforts that season, Pinto was selected to and played in the 2016 NAPHL All-Star Game.

Pinto saw 9:24 of ice time during his debut. He had the lone tally on Nikita Zaitsev's goal as he registered his first NHL point after winning the faceoff.

"The first one is out of the way so it's good to settle in and hopefully I can keep on getting better. The first shifts I was a little nervous but the guys did such a great job of calming me down and reminding me it's just hockey and just another game,” said Pinto.

Senators’ head coach D.J. Smith was impressed with the youngster’s game and would’ve liked to have awarded Pinto more ice time. “I’d like to have got him a little more (ice time). You could see he has good hockey sense. It’s tough on the road, I can’t get him the matchup, but you can see he has really good hockey sense. He won important faceoffs and gets himself an assist. He knows where to be on the ice. He’ll only continue to get better,” said Smith post-game.

Pinto is coming off a monster season at the University of North Dakota where he racked up 15 goals and 17 assists for 32 points in 28 games. He is also one of the three finalists for the Hobey Baker award given out each year to the top NCAA’s top men’s ice hockey player. Pinto was also the NCHC’s Forward of the Year and Defensive Forward of the Year. Pinto led the NCHC in multi-point contests (11), in power-play goals (seven), power-play points (13) and with a 1.22 points-per-game average. He also led the conference with 308 faceoff wins and with a faceoff win percentage of 62%. The NCHC Forward of the Week on two occasions (Dec. 7 and Feb. 1).

Drafted by the Senators with the team's first of two second-round selections (32nd overall) at the 2019 NHL Draft, Pinto was named the NCHC Rookie of the Year after tallying 28 points (16 goals, 12 assists) over 33 contests in 2019-20.

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