First, let me start this off by stating the obvious, I don’t know if there have been any contract negotiations between Sadowy and the Sharks but because we are talking about an entry level contract there isn’t really a ton to negotiate as the money is capped aside from bonuses. Finally, there is a chance that Sadowy simply wants to take his rising stock and is opting to risk going back into the draft to get selected higher and use that to get more bonuses on his ELC. None of this we know for sure. All we do know for certain is that the Sharks have until June 1st. of this year to sign Sadowy or he will re-enter the draft. Not signing Sadowy would be in my opinion a big mistake for the Sharks who have actually made some decent choices on the prospect front of late.
Now I appreciate the question of why am I so worried about a third round pick when the reality is that just over 30% of all players taken in the third round will go on to become an NHL player. To me, the story of how Dylan Sadowy got to this position to begin with is just as important as the numbers he put up in his draft +2 season. Sadowy entered the OHL taken in the 2nd round and 37th overall in the OHL Priority Selection. His first season was nothing to write home about while most first-year OHL players don’t see a ton of ice time Sadowy had a very forgettable season scoring 2 goals and 6 assists and a -13 rating in 64 games. When he entered his draft year he worked hard to make an impact he entered the midseason point ranked 89th but by the end of the season would be ranked 33rd and put up a respectable 27 goals and 9 assists improving to a +14 rating on the back of hard-nosed two-way hockey. The Sharks would take Sadowy in the draft in the third round at 81st overall and his numbers would only go on to get better.
In the first year after the Draft Sadowy was a major factor in helping the youngest team by average age to the OHL playoffs when he carried the team on his back leading the team in scoring by a 22 point margin with 42 goals and 32 assists for 74 points and finishing with a +5 rating. This was the real coming out party for how good Sadowy was but it wasn’t just the points he put up it was the play that leads to those points. This is a team that that suffered the tragedy of Terry Trafford’s suicide. I can tell you from watching Saginaw visits to play the Greyhounds that Sadowy scored a lot of goals the hard way getting into the dirty areas to fight off defenders and had no problems getting back to his own end to block a shot or help out on defense. I was at the first game the Spirit played after the tragedy and I remember it being a great game full of emotion. My first impression of Sadowy was what a workhorse he was and while I think he has an underrated skill set his work ethic is off the chart.
This past season he was traded from the Saginaw Spirit to the Barrie Colts where he wasn’t needed to be the primary offensive weapon for the team but still finished with excellent numbers again scoring 45 goals and 35 assist and 70 points with a +17 rating. In the playoffs, he would only be in the lineup for 8 games missing the entire second round and yet would score 2 goals and 3 assists which is made more impressive by the fact that while not confirmed he did it with broken ribs suffered in game two of the Colts first round series while blocking a shot. He would then continue blocking shots despite his injury and would take another shot in the same area and would need to sit out some games.
His 70 point season allowed him to finish 19th overall in OHL Point scoring but when you look at the numbers deeper you will see why I’m taking this time, to write this up. The first thing I would point out about Sadowy’s points is how many of them are what are called primary points, primary points are goals and primary assists ignoring secondary assist. Of Sadowy’s 70 points 60 points are primary points or 85.7%, his five points in the playoffs were all primary points. To put that into perspective other members of the 2014 draft class who were taken before Sadowy have their primary points percentages, London Knights forward Christian Dvorak (Arizona, 2nd round, 58th.) while finishing 2nd in the league in points with 121 points only 71% were primary points. If you’re looking for a player a little closer in points to Sadowy’s total Josh Ho-Sang (New York Islanders, 1st round, 28th. overall) also came in at 70.7% of primary points.
Another important thing to look at is where the places on the ice that Sadowy scores most of his goals. As you can see Sadowy scores most of his goals right in front of the blue paint a skill that should have no problems translating to the pro game in fact in a recent article on sportsnet.ca that used a projection model to try and project players going forward Sadowy was considered to have the third best chance to be able to score at the pro-level. His heat chart compares very well with teammate and fellow Sharks prospect Kevin Labanc as you will see below who has a far more touted offensive game and won the OHL scoring title with 127 points and an impressive 78.7% of those being primary points.
This is how Sadowy holds up against fellow Sharks prospect Alex Schoenborn who was taken in the third round of the 2014 draft at just nine picks before Sadowy at 72nd overall and has already been signed to an entry-level contract. Now it is important to note that these are very different players but Sadowy in my opinion, is far more likely to make a real impact at the pro level.
Finally, I know some might think there is a personal bias at play here and I can assure you that’s not the case and while I did rank Sadowy 12th in my prospect rankings, Hockey’s Future also ranked him 12th as well. Stephen Burtch of Sportsnet also asked if he could be the first round pick no one is talking about should he re-enter the draft. Dylan Sadowy is the kind of heart and soul player you want on your team and when you consider that the Sharks are a team that gets’s accused of having too many passengers at times is a guy that they should want on their team as well. No one is taking a shift off with Sadowy on the ice. Other teams are not going to take liberties with Sadowy on the ice. Most fans lament the lack of physical play in the Sharks current lineup and not being able to find guys will the right balance of skill and sandpaper since Ryane Clowe left. Dylan Sadowy could be that guy he has all the tools to be that guy plus he’s good at the one thing Clowe was only ok at and that is parking his but in front of the net winning battles and scoring goals. So join me fellow Shark fans and make sure that the Sharks don’t pass on this prospect make sure you want them to know that they should #SignSadowy.