The 2010 NHL draft has come and gone. It is hard to grade a NHL team on the draft because most of the players are three or four years away. While nobody predicted the Sabres would pick three defensive players in their first four picks, we all predicted they would draft North Americans. The final tally was eight Canadians and one American.
Let's take one last look at the 2010 draft class.
Mark Pysyk - Round 1 (#23)
Defense - Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL) - 6'1" 174lbs.
Stats : 48GP 7G-17A-24P 47PIM
Pysyk is a very good skater that excels in his own zone. He is very good positionally and has very quick feet. He needs to add some weight and strength to his 6'1" frame. He has the smarts to be an excellent NHL player. Pysyk is known as a good player in his own zone but he has unbelievable speed that has been compared to ex-Sabre Brian Campbell.
While I wasn't big on this pick at first, I have come around to see that he is a very good player. I thought Emerson Etem would have been a better pick but in the end, Pysyk is more of a sure thing than Etem was.
Jerome Gauthier-Leduc - Round 3 (#68)
Defense - Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (QMJHL) - 6'1" 176lbs.
Stats: 68GP 20G-26A-46P 16PIM
Gauthier-Leduc is the definition of an offensive-minded defender. He thinks offense first in almost every situation and has built the confidence to move to another level. He has an NHL-ready shot from the point and a very quick one-timer that is very accurate.
Gauthier-Leduc has the offensive skills the Sabres couldn't pass up but he will need to work on his defensive game if he is going to make the jump. I look at Marc-Andre Gragnani and how he struggled to find the defensive aspect of the game and actually tried forward for a short time.
Kevin Sundher - Round 3 (#75)
Center - Chilliwack Bruins (WHL) - 6'0" 192lbs.
Stats : 72GP 25G-36A-61P 101PIM
Sundher is the perfect blend of size and speed. He still needs to work on gaining strength but he plays bigger than his 6'0", 190 pound frame. He will hit anything in sight and he isn't afraid to take a hit to make a play.
He still needs to improve most areas of his game but he shows the potential to someday suit up in an NHL uniform. His willingness to learn and to improve will be an asset as he progresses through his young hockey career.
Matt Mackenzie - Round 3 (#83)
Defense - Calgary Hitmen (WHL) - 6'1" 191lbs.
Stats : 64GP 6G-34A-40P 62PIM
Mackenzie is a typical stay-at-home defensive player. He thinks the game well and almost always makes the right play with the puck. He anticipates plays in the defensive zone by studying his opponents tendancies.
He is a no-nonsense type player that will throw the body around if necessary and won't let opposing forwards anywhere near his goalie.
He was probably the best defenseman on the Calgary Hitmen this season and has a chance to be the captain of the team next year, according to Sabres scouting director Kevin Devine.
Steven Shipley - Round 4 (#98)
Center - Owen Sound Attack (OHL) - 6'2" 205lbs.
Stats : 68GP 23G-40A-63P 32PIM
Shipley has all the tools to be an elite NHL-player but he lacks consistency.
When Shipley is at his best, he very noticeable on the ice. Sometimes the best player on the ice because he shines in both ends of the rink. He is a very good skater and has outstanding hands that allow him to control the puck in traffic. He is able to create offense in tight areas and has good vision that allows him to find teammates that are open.
Shipley can be equally as good in his own zone when he is on his game. He has shown a willingness to block shots and pay the price on the back-check. He is a player that prides himself on being a successful penalty killer and plays in all situations.
Gregg Sutch - Round 5 (#143)
Right Wing - Missisauga St. Michael's - 6'2" 205lbs.
Stats : 43GP 3G-5A-8P 55PIM
Cedrick Henley - Round 6 (#173)
Left Wing - Val D'Or Foreurs (QMJHL) - 6'5" 195lbs.
Stats: 44GP 5G-7A-12P 43PIM
Christian Isackson - Round 7 (#203)
Right Wing - St. Thomas (MN-HS) - 6'0" 174lbs.
Stats : 25GP 24G-33A-57P 43PIM