For me, one of the biggest surprises of this past season was the performance of one Lukas Sedlak. He had never been a much-talked-about prospect. He was #15 on our preseason list of the Top 25 Players Under 25, but that was largely because of his 16 points in 17 Calder Cup Playoff games. Could that momentum carry over to the next season in the NHL?
Sedlak surprised many by making the Jackets roster out of camp, though most of us thought that was just to protect him from waivers. It initially appeared that he would not play on a regular basis. Then BJORKSTRAND got sent down after three games, Sedlak became the fourth line center, and the rest is history. Sedlak thrived between the veterans Scott Hartnell and Sam Gagner. By the second half of the season, he had even earned PK minutes before his season was derailed by injuries.
Sedlak missed the first three games of the Pittsburgh series, but I was quite impressed by his play in the last two. I’m never going to expect major point production from Sedlak, but he has all the skills you want from a bottom 6 center. He plays defensively sound hockey (his 52.1 CF% was 7th on the team among regular skaters) and plays with great hustle. If William Karlsson gets selected by Vegas, I think Sedlak can slide seamlessly into his role.
Lukas Sedlak 2016-17 Stats
Games played: 62
Time on ice: 9:43
Penalty Minutes: 25
Corsi For (even strength): 52.1%
I have to go with Sedlak’s first career goal, in December at Detroit. Still warms my cold black heart to see how happy he is after: