DETROIT, MICH -- By now you've likely heard that the Red Wings have traded one of their 3rd round picks in 2017 for "NHL prospect" Dylan Sadowy. Red Wings beat writers are now reporting that Sadowy and the Red Wings have agree on his entry-level deal:
#RedWings and Dylan Sadowy have agreed to a three-year entry-level deal.— Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) May 27, 2016
The 20-year-old winger was originally drafted by the San Jose Sharks at 81st overall in 2014, but both parties failed to reach an entry-level contract since his draft date. There are a lot of questions as to who Sadowy is, and what kind of a player he can be going forward. He's described as a gritty goal-scoring winger who can add some real energy to whichever line he plays on. But what do the numbers say about our newest prospect?
A net-front force
What I really like about Sadowy his ability to generate high-danger chances. Here's a look at his "heat maps":
Both of these visuals are from Prospect-stats.com
As you can see, Sadowy works best when he's right up in the goalie's grill. Numbers tell us that players who create chances within close proximity of the net generate success at a large rate. Hell, you don't even need numbers to tell you that. It's obvious. Sadowy could be a really enticing option as a player who will prowl around the slot.
In the 2015-2016 season, 30 of Dylan Sadowy's 45 goals came at even strength. His 5v5 eG/60 (estimated goals per 60 minutes) was the highest of any player (1.961) in the OHL with 50+ games played. What is more impressive is that Sadowy managed to perform at such a high rate despite playing for one of the not-so-great clubs in the OHL, the Saginaw Spirit. Despite that, Sadowy's 45 goals translates to roughly 16 goals in the NHL.
Why didn't San Jose sign him?
The Sharks drafted Dylan Sadowy in 2014. They had more than enough time to ink his three-year entry-level contract, but failed to do so. Why? I started mulling the idea around in my head, and started to wonder if there were off-ice issues, upon research and some insight from a couple of OHL sources, that isn't the case. From what I gather, the Sharks are top-heavy with young forwards, most of them being wingers. Going into next season, the Sharks will have seven forwards on contract that are likely to be first-year AHL players. My guess is that San Jose didn't want to waste a contract on a player who wouldn't have much room to squeeze into the lineup.
I think it's a great move by the Red Wings. They've been reloading their young talent over the last few years, and this one shows a little creativity in that regard. Instead of taking a prospect in the 3rd round, they'll get a well-developed 20-year-old winger who is leaps closer to playing in the NHL than a guy you would find out of the Entry Draft. Sadowy will go straight to Grand Rapids playing in what seems likely to be a top-six role. From there, the Red Wings will use his waiver eligibility as another option for depth when the time comes.