2008-09: Michael Sdao spent his second season with USHL Lincoln. In 51 games with the Western Division regular season champions he led the team in penalty minutes (162) and was an even plus/minus with 3 goals and 7 assists. Sdao committed to playing college hockey at Princeton in 2009-10.
2009-10: Sdao appeared in 30 of 31 games as a freshman for Princeton. Pressed into duty earlier than expected due to several injuries among the Tigers’ upperclassmen, Sdao scored 5 goals with 4 assists and was -4 with a team-leading 48 PMs.
2010-11: Sdao skated in 27 of 32 games for Princeton as a sophomore – missing time due to a nagging injury that required off-season surgery. He scored 3 goals with 6 assists and was -1 with a team-high 65 PMs. Princeton, after getting off to a 9-4-1 start, struggled in February and March and was upset in the ECAC Hockey tournament by 11th-place St. Lawrence.
2011-12: Sdao assumed a leadership role for Princeton University as a junior on a young Tigers team that had just four seniors. Skating in 30 of 32 games, he had career-highs in goals (10) and assists (10) while leading the Tigers in penalty minutes (87 – also a career-high) for the third straight season. He was named to the ECAC Second All-Star team as Princeton finished 9-16-7 under first-year coach Bob Prier and was in eleventh place in the ECAC Hockey league.
2012-13: Sdao signed a one-year, entry-level contract with Ottawa in March of 2013 following his senior season at Princeton and made his pro hockey debut with the AHL’s Binghamton Senators. In 12 AHL games he scored 1 goal and was +4 with 23 penalty minutes. The Senators were second in the East Division and had the AHL’s fourth-best record before being swept by Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in a first round series. Sdao was a healthy scratch in the playoffs. He was Princeton’s fourth-leading scorer and led Tigers defensemen in points and penalty minutes. The lone defensemen to play in all 31 games, he scored 8 goals with 7 assists and was +2 with 36 penalty minutes. Princeton finished tied for seventh in ECAC Hockey but was swept at home by Cornell in a season-ending first round playoff series.
2013-14: Sdao skated in 61 of 75 games for Ottawa AHL affiliate Binghamton in his first pro season. He scored 6 goals with 5 assists and was +14, finishing second to Senators’ heavyweight Darren Kramer with 171 penalty minutes. The Senators lost to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in a first-round playoff series after finishing first in the East Division in the regular season. Sdao did not appear in any playoff games. He was re-signed to a two-year contract by Ottawa as a restricted free agent in July 2014.
2014-15: Sdao was limited to 33 games with the Binghamton Senators due to injury in his second AHL season. He scored 2 goals with 2 assists and was -3 with 89 penalty minutes. The Senators missed the AHL playoffs, finishing third in the East Division.
Sdao is a physical, stay at home defenseman with a big shot whose calling card at the pro level to this point has been his combativeness. Fellow Princeton alumni George Parros and Kevin Westgarth parlayed their pugnacious nature into NHL careers and Sdao appears headed down the same path. Injuries slowed him in his second pro season but his heart-and-soul approach is popular with teammates.
Sdao is entering the second year of a two-way contract with the Senators in 2015-16 and will look to bounce back from an injury-filled season last year. His skating ability and size suggest he can one day be a lower-pairing defenseman who can stand up for teammates when the situation arises. He is likely to start the season in the AHL with Binghamton.