Entering tonight’s first round of the NHL Entry Draft, there was much speculation on what Darcy Regier and the Buffalo Sabres were going to do with the 23rd overall selection. There had been rumors of a possible deal with Toronto for Tomas Kaberle. And since Toronto did not have a first round pick, the thought of a trade with Buffalo would make perfect sense for both sides. Whether or not a deal was proposed involving the 23rd overall pick, only Darcy Regier and Brian Burke would know. Darcy Regier and company then took the stage of the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
With the 23rd pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, the Buffalo Sabres select…Defenseman Mark Pysyk.
Pysyk is a 6’1” 174 pound D-man in whom TSN compared to former Sabre, Brian Campbell. Playing for the Edmonton Oil Kings of the Western Hockey League, Pysyk played 123 games, scored 13 goals and 34 assists, for 47 points. Pysyk’s 2009-2010 season was cut short by a broken foot, but was still named the Edmonton Oil Kings Most Valuable Player.
Pysyk is a few years away from being NHL ready, but was ranked seventh overall by NHL Central Scouting. The Sherwood Park, AB native is a right handed shot who, with the proper coaching, can turn into the type of player the Sabres need on the blue line. According to the NHL Director of Central Scouting, E.J. McGuire “Pysyk is smooth-skating, he has a neat knack for following up the play at the right time, leading the rush at the right time and throwing a crisp pass to one of his forwards to break out of his zone.”
Unfortunately, the type of NHL defenseman that Pysyk can be in a few years is the type of defenseman the Sabres are looking for right now. A puck moving defenseman who can quarterback the power play is what the team currently lacks. Does Regier pull the trigger and bring in a Tomas Kaberle? Does the rumor of the Sabres having interest in re-acquiring Brian Campbell become a reality? Or will the Sabres bring in a third or fourth tier free agent to try and help fill the void?
In my opinion, Kaberle is a possibility. But the Brian Campbell rumor is ridiculous. In 2008, the Sabres deal Campbell because of the high price tag it would cost to retain him, but they want to re-acquire him at $8 million per season? I know Campbell was a fan favorite, but enough is enough with wanting to bring back former Sabres. We might as well give Richard Shmelik a call. Wait, even my sarcasm made me feel ill. Then again, Shmelik does have his name on the Stanley Cup…ouch!
Knowing the recent history of the Sabres organization, it looks as though a third or fourth tier free agent may be the route the Sabres may take (Ex. Steve Montador last off season). The team may also believe they have their QB for the PP in Andrej Sekera or Marc-Andre Gragnani. One thing we do know is that Darcy Regier is in love with this roster and it will take something special in order for Regier to part with the pieces he has put together.
About the Author: Sabres Hockey blogger, Passionate fan of all Hockey, Sport Management major, Buffalo Bills fan/season ticket holder, father of my beautiful daughter.