By the Numbers will highlight the on-ice accomplishments in the 2017-18 season for the Detroit Red Wings' prospects. Twice a week during the offseason, By the Numbers will profile a different player in the system, focusing on his statistical highs. This week we focus on left wing Dylan Sadowy.
Red Wings prospect Dylan Sadowy is an enigma.
Drafted by the San Jose Sharks in the third round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, Sadowy was projected, at worst, to be an all-situation bottom six forward who would score goals in the greasy areas around the net.
Despite putting together back-to-back seasons in which he scored 40-plus goals in the OHL (42 goals for Saginaw in 2014-15 and 45 goals between Saginaw and Barrie in 2015-16), Sadowy and the Sharks couldn't reach a deal on an entry level contact.
Instead of having him reenter the NHL draft because of the contract impasse, the Sharks traded Sadowy to the Red Wings for a third-round pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft on May 26, 2016.
When the Wings acquired the 6-foot, 205-pound left wing, they immediately signed him to a three-year entry level contract, which they obviously needed to do since he would have entered the 2016 draft in June had he remained unsigned.
A third-round pick was a steep price to pay for Sadowy, but Detroit felt it added a hard-nosed versatile player who had proven he had a bit of a scoring touch in the OHL.
In his last 129 games over two seasons for Saginaw and Barrie, Sadowy notched 87 goals among his 144 total points.
It was all mapped out for Sadowy - he would turn pro and establish himself with a solid first professional season in the AHL, playing for the Grand Rapids Griffins and if he needed a little more seasoning, he'd spend his second pro season in Grand Rapids, with hopefully the occasional call-up to Detroit.
By the third year of his entry level deal, Sadowy would be challenging for a roster spot on at least Detroit's third or fourth line, with the expectation he would be a Red Wing.
But something happened on this clear path to the Motor City, Sadowy's game has had a hard time adjusting to the AHL.
In 34 games for the Griffins in 2016-17, he had four goals among his six points and was minus-4 with 18 penalty minutes. Sadowy was sent to the ECHL's Toledo Walleye to ignite his game.
He played in six games for Toledo, scoring one goal among his four points, and was plus-4 with 14 penalty minutes.
Entering the 2017-18 campaign, Sadowy was determined to wash away the disappointment of his first pro season but it didn't materialize. He played more games in Toledo than in Grand Rapids.
This upcoming season, Sadowy needs to stick with a Griffins team going through a transition. He must become a solid two-way player who can agitate and score if he has any chance of being re-signed by the Wings or receiving an AHL offer from the Griffins.
52 - Total number of games Sadowy played in last season. He appeared in 13 games for Grand Rapids and 39 games for Toledo.
12 - In his 52 games, he scored 12 total goals, all with the Walleye.
17 - Sadowy notched 17 assists, again all with the Walleye.
29 - His season point total, which ranked 13th in scoring for Toledo. Sadowy was plus-9 and had 20 penalty minutes for the Walleye. Tyler Barnes led the Walleye in points with 53, including 20 goals in 66 games.
0 - He failed to register a point for Grand Rapids. Sadowy was assessed nine penalty minutes and was minus-1 in his 13 games for the Griffins.
10 - During the Griffins' five-game playoff run, Sadowy played in one playoff game in which he was held scoreless, was minus-1 and fired two shots on goal. He played in nine playoff contests for Toledo. Sadowy tallied three goals among his four points, was whistled for six penalty minutes, was minus-7 and registered 41 shots. In 10 total playoff games, he scored three goals, doled out one assist, amassed six penalty minutes, was minus-8 and had 43 shots on net.
81 - San Jose drafted Sadowy in the third round, 81st overall, in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. The Red Wings had one pick in the third round of the 2014 Entry Draft and selected Dominic Turgeon, 63rd overall. Detroit's first round selection in the 2014 draft was Dylan Larkin, taken 15th overall.
Quotable: "I have seen enough of him, certainly this past season and he's still a young hockey player. You think about these kids coming out of junior, they're 20 years old, they've lived with billets and now you throw them out there on their own. The Red Wings do a great job through development camp, sort of teaching them the ropes of how to be a professional away from the arena, but some of these kids, it does take a little bit longer. So the maturity aspect is coming along, whether it's through opportunity, whether it's a guy who is a little bit slower in his development process. Everyone develops at different speeds. For me in Toledo, he did make strides. The biggest thing for him is he was getting opportunities to score goals, he was touching the puck quite a bit, it was on his stick at our level. In the American League when you try and make that jump, the plays that you make in the ECHL, you've got to make them a little quicker now, otherwise the puck is turned over and you're sitting on the end of the bench at times. I think it's just the case of a slower developing player. As he improves, he could be an everyday AHL player. The biggest message for Dylan heading into this summer is go home and have a phenomenal summer, get into the gym, get stronger. If you want those net-front minutes, if you want to be on the penalty kill - because he is willing to block shots - you do have to make sure your legs are stronger, your core is strong. Be ready to compete once training camp starts and obviously with the transition period with the Wings, Grand Rapids, Toledo, he does have an opportunity to potentially make an impact there in Grand Rapids. I like to see guys progress. I like to see guys go from Toledo up to Grand Rapids and obviously the major goal to get up to Detroit. For Dylan, his sole purpose is to come in and make sure he's ready to compete to earn his spot and earn his job in Grand Rapids." - Dan Watson, Toledo Walleye head coach