The Buffalo Sabres surprised Sabres fans by selecting defenseman Mark Pysyk of the Edmonton Oil Kings of the Western Hockey League. The Sabres were expected to take a forward with the 23rd selection but after watching things develop, they felt Pysyk was the right selection.
Pysyk is hard to get a read on because he missed a lot of time this season. He suffered a concussion, early in the season and a broken foot ended his season during February. He is a big kid but still hasn't learned to use his size effectively. He is soft along the boards and relies on his reach in the defensive zone.
His offensive potential is limited at this point in his career. He scored seven goals in 48 games in his second season in the WHL. He is likely to be a defensive defenseman if he makes it to the NHL in a couple of seasons.
Pysyk has the size to be a very tough defenseman but he will have to develop a mean streak over the next couple of seasons. His game is one that will frustrate Buffalo fans as a big man that plays soft. He fills a need on the right side of the defense because the Sabres are stacked with left-handed defensemen but beyond that, it was a wasted pick with guys like Emerson Etem still on the board. I never considered Pysyk to be an option because of his lack of physical play.