Rookie Dylan Sadowy's grit has yet to surface
Traverse City — You see glimpses, but to really judge Dylan Sadowy, check back in a week or two.
Monday’s Red-White scrimmage, then the exhibition games the next two weeks, should bring out more of what Sadowy can offer the Grand Rapids Griffins this season — and maybe the Red Wings in the future.
“We’ll have to see him in live action,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “I’ve been told his best attribute is being around the net, and it’s hard to show that sometimes in practice or 3-on-3, or 4-on-3.
“He’s somebody who shows better in games.”
Sadowy was acquired in a May trade with San Jose, the Red Wings sending a 2017 third-round draft pick to the Sharks, who had picked Sadowy in the third round in 2014.
Sadowy (6-foot-1, 195-pounds) scored 42 and 45 goals the past two seasons in the Ontario League (OHL), and the way he plays around the net, his hard-driving style, is a benefit.
“He’s a two-way guy who plays a gritty style that can put the puck in the net,” said Todd Nelson, the Griffins head coach. “In his case, it’s a great opportunity for him the rest of camp to show the coaches he can earn some playing time in the exhibition games and from there it’s up to management to make their decision as to where he should be.”
Sadowy has been adjusting to the Red Wings' way of doing things in training camp, compared to San Jose.
“In San Jose, they didn’t do a rookie tournament, just skill games, intrasquad games,” Sadowy said. “It’s a little different , a lot more fun here, more competition (with the Red Wings), I can’t complain.”
Sadowy feels he can provide a gritty element to the Red Wings in time.
“A net-front guy, get into the dirty areas, take crap from the defensemen,” Sadowy said. “That’s my game. Win all the small battles and outwork the opponent.”
The recent prospects tournament helped Sadowy get acclimated to his new teammates in the organization.
“It got my legs going and got me used used to the guys I’ve been playing with,” Sadowy said. “It’s been a long week, finishing up that tournament with a lot of games in a short amount of time, then coming to the main camp here.”
Forward Teemu Pulkkinen (shoulder surgery) is one of the busier players in camp.
Pulkkinen has worked daily with a third group of players, mostly undrafted free agents, after he finishes his daily work.
Pulkkinen isn’t expected to be ready to begin the regular season, but remains hopeful of playing at least one exhibition game.
“He said his shoulder feels good but his legs have a long way to go,” Blashill said. “He’s just trying to get as good a shape as possible.
“Hopefully he can get inserted into an exhibition game. He’s hoping to get in at least one and show what he can do.”
Saturday’s scrimmages were mainly concentrated on 3-on-3 and 6-on-5 situations, and interestingly, goals were few and far between.
“We teach good defense here,” Blashill smiled. “It must be a real good job.”
… Blashill said he will not use line combinations that could be regular season possibilities until the second week of the exhibition season, once all his regulars from the World Cup of Hockey return.
… Henrik Zetterberg (knee) and Niklas Kronwall (knee) both are skating on their own but will not be skating with the team during this camp.