The 7th round draft pick taken by the Ottawa Senators in 2009 was Michael Sdao, a 6’4″ 230lb defenseman and native of Colorado. The 24-year-old has a one year deal in place with the Ottawa Senators and will be starting his first year in Binghamton this season. At Princeton University, the 4 year graduate led all defenseman in his senior year with 8 goals and 6 assists in 31 games. Sdao went on to win 2013 First-Team All-Ivy League Award for the 2nd year in a row while being the assistant captain. His team fell short in the playoffs losing to Yale in the first round.
-Sdao graduates from Princeton to Binghamton
Sdao played in 12 games late last season in Bingo having 1 goal, 23 PIM, and will most likely be paired up with Chris Wideman to start, where the two finished up playing together as the 3rd unit. The big, poised defensemen showed promise as he rapidly got his feet wet in the AHL while still finishing his degree at Princeton. He’s good on his skates, decent shot from the blue line, and loves to hit. Sdao also likes to drop the gloves, getting into a fight his 2nd game into the AHL season with Troy Bodie, which I uploaded from YouTube below.
Coach Luke Richardson mentioned Sdao wanting to “hit everything in sight into the 4th row” which he was happy to see from the rookie, but that needs to be toned down for the right opportunities to avoid mistakes. Luke made the same adjustment for Mark Borowiecki last season. Boro was goaded on more than one occasion, usually after the whistle and he took too many unnecessary penalties that hurt the team. Richardson suggested to ‘walk away’ and ‘pick his beefs’ when the time is right. Mark bought into it and the result was he was a more effective player on the ice. The same concept will be sold to Sdao. That’s the great thing about having Richardson as our coach here in Bingo, teaching these player’s the game and how to play it right and to be smart about it.
- Sdao clearly is on the right path to Ottawa
Let’s do a quick comparison showing where Sdao is at now vs Eric Gryba was at 3 years ago. Both are imposing, defensive defensemen, they both read the ice well and can take out the body at ease. Gryba had more experience when he arrived in late 2010 for the B-Sens. Then again, Sdao has more talent now finishing up their collegian seasons. Sdao is more polished, a better skater, more confident and accurate shooter from the blue line. I remember Gryba would miss the net so much to a point he would pass the puck away instead of taking that open shot, he lacked confidence. Let’s make this clear, I’m a big fan of Grybes. He’s come a long ways since those 6 games in that spring of 2010. Eric spent 2 1/2 seasons in Binghamton fine tuning his skills and he really got it all gelling at the start of the 2012 season. He’s now got his opportunity in the NHL and is still improving his game, just at a different level, the very top and I’m thrilled, he’s earned it.
However, most hockey fans probably know, and if you don’t, Sdao won’t take that long.
And that is not a dig against Mr. Gryba.
-Sdao’s first AHL pro fight taking on Norfolk’s toughie Bodie. The Senators were honoring St Patrick’s Day with the green unis that night. B-Sens long time broadcaster Grady Whittenburg with the call.
Next B-Sens Profile: Forward Cole Schneider