Michael Sdao
Image: NHL

Michael Sdao

Hometown:

Bloomington Minnesota

Currently Playing In:

Pro

Birthday:

1989-04-03

Position:

D

Eligible for draft:

2007

Shoots:

Left

Drafted:

2009

Height:

6-4

Acquired:

Trade with Ottawa, 2016

Weight:

221 lbs.

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History

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. Sdao was chosen in the seventh round, 191st overall, of the 2009 NHL Draft by the Ottawa Senators.

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.

Talent Analysis

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.

Future

Sdao missed the start of the year while recuperating from off-season surgery — making his 2015-16 debut with the AHL's Binghamton Senators. He was dealt along by the Ottawa Senators along with Eric O'Dell, Alex Guptill, and Cole Schneider to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for Jason Akeson, Jerome Gauthier-Leduc, and Phil Varone. A big defenseman known for dropping the gloves, Sdao had two assists in his first game with the Rochester Americans. A late round pick at the end of his original entry-level contract, his NHL future may be that of a role player who can protect teammates when necessary.

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