Now that the smoke has cleared after the 2010 NHL entry draft, we can take a look at just who the Buffalo Sabres decided to select.
Mark Pysyk (D) selected 23rd overall in the first round, was expected by some to go earlier, Central Scouting’s final rank was a seven. Pysyk born in Sherwood Park, Alberta was the first player drafted by the Edmonton Oil Kings and even though he only played 48 games this season because of a broken foot he was nominated team MVP.
“He finished the season with a broken foot and a lot of scouts weren’t able to get a good grip on how good this player’s going to be in the NHL. 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.” -NHL Director of Central Scouting, E.J. McGuire
Pysyk says he models his game after Shea Weber which can only be good news for Sabres fans. At 6’1”, 174 pounds, he does have some bulking up to do, however, being 18 he’s got plenty of time for that. For Edmonton he played over 20 minutes a game and was eighth on the team in scoring. In the future he may prove to be a solid stay at home type defenseman, but his lack of physical play may leave some wanting more.
Jerome Gauthier-Leduc (D) was selected 68th overall in the third round. He was second in the QMJHL in scoring among defensemen with 46 points. Central Scouting gave him a final rank of 50. Gauthier-Leduc was born in Quebec City, Quebec he plays for the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies and possesses a lot of offensive talent for a defenseman.
“He’s a very skilled guy. This kid has offensive skills. He’s got size and he’ll have to work on the defensive aspects of the game, sometimes he throws caution to the wind and forgets what position he plays. But sometimes that’s what you want to see from a hockey player — take the puck and go.” -NHL Central Scouting Chris Bordeleau
He has a devastating point shot and is a good skater, if he continues to work on his game he could be well on his way to being a consistent NHL caliber defenseman.
Kevin Sundher (C) selected 75th overall in the third round plays for the Chilliwack Bruins of the WHL. He was the first forward selected by the Sabres in the 2010 entry draft and brings with him a physical style the Sabres are in desperate need of. Born in Surrey, British Columbia, Sundher brought the Sabres back to drafting for offense. As well as being a physical player he brings a scoring touch, compiling 25 goals and 31 points this season. As shown by his 101 penalty minutes he also has a bit of mean streak, but should work on his size and shot to develop into the complete player he is capable of becoming.
Matt Mackenzie (D) selected 83rd overall also in the third round is another defenseman. Playing for the Calgary Hitmen he had 40 points and was a plus 16. Mackenzie, born in New Westminster, British Columbia is another big body at 6’1” 191, who is not afraid to lay the hurt on opposing forwards. Not as flashy as Gauthier-Leduc, he is a consistent stay at home defensman who is only going to get better with age and refining his game.
Steven Shipley (C) selected 98th overall in the fourth round shows the Sabres continual search for size this draft. At 6’2” 204 pounds, he is not a hulking behemoth but is a sizable forward and one who sees the ice and is able to make the great pass to an open teammate. Born in London, Ontario, Shipley thinks of himself as a Joe Thornton type player and wears Big Joe’s number 19. Playing for the Owen Sound Attack he accumulated 63 points in 68 games, but was a -18. He played on the penalty kill, but could use some work on both sides of the puck. Shipley likes to use his size to outwork smaller players on the ice, something any team desires from a player.
“He has been more dependable in his own end this year and has been good on the penalty kill. His size and reach make him a tremendous asset on the 5 on 4 and 5 on 3. His ability to win the big draw, or make a big play has been very noticeable this year. He has the ability to use his size to take the puck to the net. He wants to be on the ice in key situations.” -Owen Sound Attack Head Coach, Mark Reeds
Gregg Sutch (RW) was selected 143rd overall in the fifth round. Sutch has dealt with a lot of adversity throughout his hockey career, he is hearing impaired, and many thought he would not be able to play hockey. However Sutch continued to prove people wrong and turned out to not only play hockey but succeed. Born in Scarborough, Ontario, Sutch plays for the Mississauga St. Michaels Majors team and had eight points in 43 games. His points however do not speak to the kind of player Sutch is. He is a hard working player willing to do whatever it takes to win, Sutch’s season was riddled with injuries which hurt his draft position and he vowed to show the hockey world what kind of player he is capable of being.
Cedrick Henley (LW) was selected 173rd overall in the sixth round, and was the tallest Sabres drafted this year at 6’5”. Born in Val-d’Or, Quebec he played for the Foreurs Val-d’Or where he had 19 points in 61 games. He is a large body and one that is capable of being very good in close to the net, however his offensive upside has been called into question given his low numbers. If Henley can fine tune his capable hands and make use of his solid skating, he may be a dominant player for any defense pairing to handle.
The final two players drafted in the seventh round, 203rd overall and 208th overall respectively were Christian Isackson (RW) and Riley Boychuk (LW). Isackson who was a senior at St. Thomas Academy led the team in points with 57 in 25 games. Boychuk had 30 points for the Winterhawks in 66 games. Isackson, born in Pine City, Minnesota, is another forward with a right handed shot, who still has alot of growing left to do. Boychuk born in Abbotsford, British Columbia, is also a forward with substantial size and grit. Both bring a large presence to whatever team they play for, especially Boychuk who is also listed at 6’5”, and both have shown they have a scoring touch, however will they be able to succeed at the higher and more competitive levels? Only time will tell.
Thanks for reading!