A New Test For Griffins’ Sadowy

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.

WCHA Watch: Alabama Huntsville Recharging For 2018-19 Season

The seniors at the University of Alabama Huntsville led the team to its best record of their four-year tenure, but their departures will leave the Chargers with a reliance on youth heading into the 2018-19 campaign.

New York Islanders' Once Hopeful Offseason Takes Bleak Turn

The New York Islanders’ offseason started with promise, bringing in a general manager who pieced together three Stanley Cup champions in Lou Lamoriello and the 2018 Stanley Cup winning coach, Barry Trotz.

College Hockey Nears Final Approval For Multiple Rule Changes

Lucky No. 13: How Michigan Tech Downed Ranked Boston College

On July 25, the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel will sit down to discuss the final approval of a handful of rule changes the NCAA is laying on the table for college hockey, including eliminating the option for 3-on-3 overtimes and shootouts in favor of a standardized format.

NHL Free Agency: 5 Takeaways From Day 1's Biggest Moves

The annual festivities of Canada Day saw the biggest fish get caught in the NHL’s free agent frenzy as teams loaded up for the future with new depth.

College Hockey Transfers: Offseason Sees 8 Players Join New Teams So Far

College hockey is almost halfway through its offseason, and the usually dull summer months have seen a handful of players take the transfer path, seeking bigger opportunities with new programs.

2018 NHL Awards Predictions: Hall, MacKinnon, Or Kopitar For Hart Trophy?

It’s a busy week for the NHL as the league honors its annual award winners Wednesday in Las Vegas, followed by the Entry Draft on Friday in Dallas.

McPhee’s Savvy Moves Make Knights A Major Player In NHL Offseason

After an incredible inaugural season that rewrote what it means to be an expansion team in professional sports, the Vegas Golden Knights are ready for another string of firsts as general manager George McPhee enters the 2018 offseason.

Capitals Facing Offseason Trade-Off After Cup Win

By Jacob Messing

Last week, the Washington Capitals proved D.C. sports teams could win by claiming their first Stanley Cup after 43 years in the NHL.

FloSports, Western Collegiate Hockey Association Announce Multiyear Deal

Today, FloSports, the innovator in live digital sports and original content, announced a multiyear partnership with the Men's League of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) to stream every game hosted by a WCHA member institution live and on-demand exclusively on FloHockey.tv.

Ovechkin Powers Washington To First Stanley Cup, Wins MVP

By Jacob Messing

The Washington Capitals won their first Stanley Cup Championship on Thursday after coming from behind to defeat the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3 in Game 5 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.