Coming off a career high in goals last season, Sault Ste. Marie’s Michael Amadio is looking to take advantage and continue his success moving forward.
The 26-year-old is entering his second season with the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights after scoring 11 times for the club in 2021-22 in 53 games.
Though his game has changed some since his days with the North Bay Battalion, he’s unquestionably appreciative of his opportunity at the pro level.
“It’s a dream come true,” Amadio said. “Every game you get to play at that level is exciting. I’m just looking forward to keeping it going.”
Heading into his second season in Vegas, the new season is about building on year one with the organization.
“Just build off last year,” Amadio said, about his expectations personally this season. “I had one of my best years so, just confidence-wise, go in and do my job and do whatever it takes to help the team win.”
His first season with the club saw him post 18 points in 58 games with the team, which was also a career high since entering the league in 2017.
Amadio was claimed off waivers by the club in late-October 2021 from the Toronto Maple Leafs, and the experience in Sin City has been a positive one thus far.
“It was awesome,” Amadio said of his first season in Vegas. “I got a good opportunity there and I think I took advantage of it. We ran into a lot of injuries, and you don’t want to see that, but at the end of the year, looking back, it was my best year so far so it’s a lot to build on going forward.”
In addition to some success on the ice, there have been positives off the ice as well.
“You wake up to the sunshine everyday and it just puts you in a good mood,” Amadio said. “There’s a great group of guys. It’s a great organization. It’s been treating me well and I’ve had a lot of fun there so far.”
Since wrapping up his OHL career in the spring of 2016, Amadio has played 229 NHL games since starting his pro career in the Los Angeles Kings organization.
Amadio made the jump to pro hockey on the heels of a 50-goal season in North Bay and admits his role has changed a bit since then.
“I’ve changed a little bit more into a checking forward,” Amadio said. “I’m just finding a way to stay in the lineup every night and just doing whatever the coach asks me to do.”
Following his final season in North Bay, Amadio joined the American Hockey League’s Ontario Reign in the spring of 2016 and got into his first game action with the team the following fall.
After a season and a half with the Reign, Amadio got into his first NHL game with the Kings during the 2017-18 season and has spent much of his time in the league ever since, minus two short stints with the Reign: 28 games in 2018-19 and a pair of games in 2020-21.
Reflecting on his time with the Battalion, which included playing his rookie season in Brampton prior to the team relocating north, Amadio has a lot of fond memories of major junior.
Among them was a run to the OHL final in his second year before the team fell to the Guelph Storm.
“That was a fun ride with a good group of guys,” Amadio said.
Amadio added that he learned a lot from his time with the team, but one thing stood out.
“Just to learn how to be coachable,” Amadio said. “Just doing whatever the coach asked and whatever they want and playing your game, going out and gaining confidence in yourself.”