The Buffalo Sabres announced today that they have signed Tyler Myers to a three-year entry level contract. Myers was the Sabres top pick in the 2008 draft.
Myers has the potential to become an elite player in the NHL and that quest could begin as soon as next season. I think the Sabres have made a statement by signing him so quickly after, actually before, his season concluded.
The Sabres are in desperate need of a physical defenseman and Myers fits the bill. Myers is 6'7" and over 200 pounds at the young age of 19. Many people compare Myers to Zdeno Chara because of his 6'7" frame. Most people that are familiar with Myers think he will be better than Chara.
Almost every member of the Sabres is already done playing hockey for the season but Myers will celebrate his new contract by playing in the Memorial Cup. Myers was the MVP of the WHL Championship after leading the Kelowna Rocket to the Championship against Calgary.
Whether Myers is ready to make the leap to the NHL is still a huge question mark but I don't think there is any question hat he will get the opportunity. He fits the bill as a player the Sabres are in need of and now they have invested in him for the next three seasons.
Myers has one more season of junior eligibility. The signing means he will spend next season in Buffalo or Kelowna. He can play 10 games with the Sabres, who can then decide if he should go back to juniors for more development. He is not eligible to play in the American Hockey League.
This is a point that I had forgotten about. Myers is almost assured of being on the Sabres roster next season. The Sabres are in deep salary cap trouble and need some inexpensive help on the roster. My guess is that Myers won't be the only rookie in the lineup next season.
[Note by D.O., 05/11/09 7:12 PM EDT ] Here is a link to the Official Memorial Cup Website. I believe that all games will be televised on the NHL Network. The game on Friday is definitely on at 7PM.
Friday 5/15 - 7:00PM vs. Rimouski (WHL-Host)
Monday 5/18 - 7:00PM vs. TBA (QMJHL)
Tuesday 5/19 - 7:00PM vs. Windsor (OHL)