Coming into the league as an energetic young rookie from the Nanaimo Clippers of the BCHL, Raymond Sawada came to the BCHL from the Richmond Sockeyes after winning the Junior B provincial title with them. Continuing his winning ways, Sawada had a wonderful 2003-04 season, capturing 2004 BCHL Rookie-of-the-Year honors with the Bruce Allen Memorial Trophy, and a selection to the 2004 BCHL All-Star game in his rookie campaign in which he scored a goal. To top it all off, Sawada’s impressive playoff run helped his team to a 2004 BCHL Championship.
2006-07: On the new look Cornell team this season, Sawada established himself as a force to be reckoned with, particularly where offense is concerned. The Richmond, BC native finished third on the team with 21 points (ten goals, 11 assists). He was one of only five players to appear in all 31 games. Sawada also established himself as a player that can score timely goals as well. Of his ten goals, four came on the power play and one came short-handed. He also led Cornell with four game-winners.
2007-08: Sawada finished out his NCAA eligibility with Cornell where he matched or set career highs in goals, assists and points (10+16=26 in 36 games). After the completion of his collegiate career in March, he signed an entry-level contract with the Stars and joined Iowa (AHL) for ten games.
2008-09: Sawada played his first full pro season with the Dallas Stars organization, splitting time between the Manitoba Moose(AHL), and a brief audition with the Dallas Stars(NHL). In 52 games with the Moose, Sawada scored 6 goals and added 15 assists. Sawada made his NHL debut with the Stars, playing 5 games and scoring his first NHL goal.
2009-10: Sawada once again split time between the AHL and NHL. Appearing in 60 games with the Texas Stars, he scored 8 goals and 11 assists. He once again played in 5 games with the Dallas Stars(NHL), this time going pointless.
Sawada is a budding power forward who thrives in the physical side of the game. He can often be found delivering some thunderous hits and has no problem finishing his checks. Sawada skates remarkably well for such a big man, combining good speed with long, powerful strides. He also does a good job of keeping his feet moving consistently. Sawada makes great use of his enormous size, strength and reach, especially when protecting the puck. He works and competes hard and has demonstrated a willingness to pay a price in front of the net to make plays. He is solid defensively and does a nice job of stripping pucks from opposing players.
Potential: 3rd line winger with an offensive upside, comparable to Ryan Malone.