Niwot native, Eagles blueliner Sdao back home after 12 years away
A lot has changed since Michael Sdao was last in Colorado playing competitive hockey, but that will happen when more than 10 years elapse between appearances in your home state.
Sdao, a 27-year-old Niwot native in his first season manning the blue line for the ECHL’s Colorado Eagles, spent the last three seasons in the American Hockey League (AHL) after four NCAA Division I years at Princeton University (ECAC Hockey).
Traded to the Buffalo Sabres from the Ottawa Senators last season, Sdao did not sign a new NHL deal and decided to look at his options.
“I know the Eagles have created a winning culture in Northern Colorado and the new affiliation with the Colorado Avalanche made it an exciting opportunity,” said Sdao. “It is great to be back. I haven’t played here in 12 years, so it’s nice having family and friends at the games. We have an electric atmosphere and a good group of guys.”
“He’s an imposing figure and he plays with that same mentality,” noted Eagles coach Aaron Schneekloth. “He’s an intelligent player that sees the game well and has a proven track record in the American Hockey League.”
Growing up in Colorado, Sdao played for Boulder Hockey Club from Mites until Bantams (winning a Mite state championship in 1996), then skated for the Colorado Outlaws for two seasons before heading to Culver Military Academy for his last two years of high school before skating two seasons in the United States Hockey League with the Lincoln Stars and then ultimately, at Princeton.
Sdao was a seventh-round pick of the Senators in the 2009 NHL Draft and spent three seasons with the AHL’s Binghamton Senators before the trade to the Buffalo organization last season.
“I am happy with aspects of my game, but think I can provide more offensively,” said Sdao. “My short-term goals are to win hockey games. I am a big believer in team success bringing individual opportunity. Long term, our team is built to win a Kelly Cup this season.”
— Matt Mackinder