A New Test For Griffins’ Sadowy

© Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Anaheim Ducks at Nashville Predators

By Jacob Messing

The last three years have been complicated for Dylan Sadowy.

He’s played in the OHL, AHL, and ECHL, been drafted into the NHL by one team, and traded to another -- although he’s yet to play a game in the world’s best league.

The crazy part? He’s just 21 years old.

But despite the hills and valleys of the Canadian winger’s nascent career, there’s a lot of hope for the future.

“[Sadowy] came in and is learning the pro life,” Griffins coach Todd Nelson told the Detroit Free Press during development camp in July. “He is a young kid -- just from this past season to now, I see the maturity in him. I see him taking ownership of his game.”

Sadowy will need that kind of maturity to keep his NHL dreams alive.

In 2014, he was drafted by the San Jose Sharks, but he never signed an entry-level deal. The Canadian remained in the OHL, in which he started playing in 2012. After not signing a deal with San Jose, he eclipsed the 40-goal mark in back-to-back seasons with the Saginaw Spirit and Barrie Colts.

With his stock higher than ever ahead of the 2016 draft, Sadowy suddenly landed with the Detroit Red Wings when general manager Ken Holland dished a future third-round pick for the promising winger.

But even with the move by the Red Wings, Sadowy didn’t go straight to the NHL -- he did pen an entry-level deal but was seen as a dark horse to land a spot out of training camp.



Sadowy ultimately wound up with Detroit’s AHL affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins, where he managed just four goals and six points in 38 games. When it was clear that the young winger needed a temporary step down, he was sent to the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye for six games. He scored a goal and four points during that stretch, appearing more comfortable in his game.

Grand Rapids experienced turnover among its forward group following the team's Calder Cup victory in June, and Sadowy will likely receive a larger role in 2017-18.

The initial disappointing season with the Griffins doesn’t mean you should write off the 21-year-old, who admitted it took him “a little while” to learn pro hockey. His rookie AHL season almost mirrors his rookie OHL season in 2012-13, when he scored just two goals and eight points in 61 games.

He took the next step the following season with 27 goals in 68 games, which was followed by 42- and 45-goal seasons.

Red Wings director of player development and 15-year NHL veteran Shawn Horcoff told the Free Press at camp that the team addressed conditioning with Sadowy. Horcoff said he believes with better foot speed and training Sadowy can return to using his natural ability to shoot the puck and score on a regular basis.

The Red Wings hope Sadowy can adjust to the AHL the way he did in the OHL level to get him back on track and hopefully one day find himself donning the Winged Wheel.


Have a question or a comment for Jacob Messing? You can find him on Twitter @JMessing23.

FloHockey’s Western Conference All-Star Rosters

© James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports NHL: St. Louis Blues at Carolina Hurricanes

Welcome back for the Western Conference installment of FloHockey’s NHL All-Star lineup predictions.

Catch up on the Eastern Conference selections right here.The NHL is opting for a third year of the three-on-three format. Each division has a team of 11 players — six forwards, three defensemen, and two goalies — with at least one representative from each team.

FloHockey’s Eastern Conference All-Star Rosters

© Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports NHL: San Jose Sharks at Florida Panthers

By Jacob Messing

While there may be not NHL players participating in Pyeongchang for the Winter Olympics this February, fans at least get the fun-filled All-Star weekend.

Detroit's Darren Helm On Both Sides Of A Big Hit

© Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports NHL: Detroit Red Wings at Tampa Bay Lightning

By Jacob Messing

With another week of hockey in the books, FloHockey has compiled some of the biggest body checks from the past seven days.

High And Wide: Barbashev, Blues, And A Bounce-Back In L.A.

© Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports NHL: Calgary Flames at Montreal Canadiens

By Jacob Messing

St. Louis Blues forward Jaden Schwartz is out for six weeks, Auston Matthews is hurt again, and the Ottawa Senators have just one win in their past seven games.

No. 6 Minnesota, Grace Zumwinkle Still Searching For Home Formula

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By Jacob Messing

The No. 6 Minnesota Golden Gophers are perfect on the road this season, but have lacked the “advantage” part of home-ice advantage.

No. 18 Penn State Seeks Keystone State Dominance vs Robert Morris

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By Jacob Messing

Home-State Battle: Rivals Michigan, Michigan State Set To Clash

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By Jacob Messing

No matter what the sport, the state of Michigan enjoys watching the Wolverines and Spartans go head-to-head.

Top 5 Minnesota Golden Gophers In The NHL

© Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports NHL: Winnipeg Jets at Minnesota Wild

By Jacob Messing

Last week, FloHockey took a look at the top five Big Ten alumni in the NHL, but given the Minnesota’s plethora of professional talent we decided to follow up with the best Golden Gophers in hockey today.

Strength And Pain: The Hardest Hits Of The Week

© Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at Nashville Predators

By Jacob Messing

Another weekly dose of strength and pain coming together as FloHockey compiles the best hits from around the world right here.

High And Wide: Wheeler, Winnipeg, And We’ll Call It Upper-Body

© Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports NHL: Preseason-San Jose Sharks at Vegas Golden Knights

By Jacob Messing

The Philadelphia Flyers have lost 10 straight games, the Metropolitan is demolishing the Eastern Conference, and the two types of injuries are flaring up.