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SHEBEST: League Leader Sadowy has "Nose for the Net"

Wednesday, November 20th
SHEBEST: League Leader Sadowy has "Nose for the Net"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 20, 2019

SHEBEST: League Leader Sadowy Has “Nose for the Net”

BY PAM SHEBEST

Dylan Sadowy has always enjoyed playing at Wings Event Center although the last three years it was as a Toledo Walleye.

“I’m used to scoring goals in this building,” the Kalamazoo Wings left winger said with a smile. “I did it quite a bit against (the K-Wings) last year, and I’m keeping it going (with them) this year.”

“Keeping it going” is a bit of an understatement. In just 11 games, Sadowy has an ECHL leading 11 goals and posted an eight-game goal-scoring streak, also tops in the league.

Although the streak was broken last week in Fort Wayne, assists on Friday and Saturday extended his point streak to 10 games. His 11 goals and seven assists for 18 points put him third in the league.

Sadowy is quick to share his success.

“It’s just the teammates around me,” the 23-year-old said. “They’re getting the pucks to the net and where I make my living is in front. I bet over half my goals come from there.”

Playing with the K-Wings provided an opportunity to get his old number 10 back, a tribute to his late grandfather. In Grand Rapids and Toledo, older players already wore that number.

“My grandfather (Dan) wore it, my dad (Allan) wore it and I wore it growing up,” Sadowy said. “My grandfather just passed away Jan. 11, so I wanted to go back to my old number.”

When Sadowy started skating around age three in Canada, things looked a bit bleak.

“My dad taught me to skate in the backyard because I got kicked out of the Learn to Skate program,” he said. “I couldn’t skate from the goal line to the blue line, so my dad put a backyard rink in and that’s how I learned to skate.”

Although his sister, Caitlyn, went to Robert Morris University on a Division 1 hockey scholarship, Sadowy opted to go the Junior Hockey route.

He played three and a half seasons with the Ontario Hockey League’s Saginaw Spirit and one half of a season with the Barrie Colts, before turning pro.

Under contract with the National Hockey League’s Detroit Red Wings, he spent most of his first year with the Griffins, skating in just six games with Toledo.

Every Kid’s Dream

In 2014, Sadowy attended the NHL Entry Draft in Philadelphia with two good buddies and was taken by the San Jose Sharks in the third round.

“Two of my best friends growing up were Michael Dal Colle, who went fifth overall to the (New York) Islanders, and Josh Ho-Sang, who went 28th to the Islanders as well,” he said.

“It’s a dream come true. It’s every kid’s dream to get drafted. But it’s just a stepping stone at the end of the day. It’s just a ticket to the dance and you’ve got to prove yourself.”

San Jose traded his rights to the Red Wings in 2016 and when his contract expired over the summer, the Utica Comets, the K-Wings’ AHL affiliate, snapped him up.

“He was one of the players who was on our list that we helped provide to (Utica) and we felt like he could be an asset to both organizations,” K-Wings coach Nick Bootland said.

“He used to beat us and score a lot of goals against us. He’s one of those guys who, if he’s on the other team, you don’t like him very much but when he’s on your team, the finish and the knack for creating offense is incredible. He’s got a real nose for the net.”

One key to his success is “’I’m a little bit heavier body,” Sadowy said.

“The team’s trying to put me on a little diet, but I pride myself on that front.

That’s where I’ve had most of my luck. Those pucks get put to the net and I just go there and dig hard and pound those pucks into the net.”

The forward’s prowess in the slot is a topic during morning skates.

“It’s funny because we even talk about it in practice as coaches,” Bootland said. “It doesn’t matter the drill we’re doing, if we’re playing a 5-on-5 situation, he always finds a way to have a scoring chance.

“He doesn’t cheat to get those opportunities. It’s kind of a unique timing that he has on when to get behind a defender. He has a pretty good burst when he has that chance and he has a heckuva shot.”

Kalamazoo has played just 11 games, among the fewest in the league so far, nine of them at home. That will change soon on the team’s first road swing with 10 of their next 12 games away from Kalamazoo.

“Road trips are always nice at the start of the year,” Sadowy said. “It brings the guys closer. If you’re at home, guys are kind of on their own, but on the road, everyone’s forced to be together as a group. I think it helps bond the team.”

With the numbers Sadowy is putting up, chances are he will be working his way to Utica at some point this season.

“I’m sure it’s a little humbling going from an NHL deal to an American League deal, but it’s an opportunity for him to kind of reset his career with another organization,” Bootland said. 

“I think (the Comets are) a group that likes what he’s bringing to the table so far. When he’s here, we’re trying to craft the rest of his game. We want to help get him where he wants to go. That’s our job, to get him to the highest level he can go.”

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