Three years ago, everyone was asking the same question: Taylor or Tyler? The Edmonton Oilers would answer with a resounding “TAYLOR!” as they selected Taylor Hall with the first overall pick in the 2010 NHL draft. Tyler Seguin would go to the Boston Bruins, with Erik Gudbranson going to the Florida Panthers at third overall. The Buffalo Sabres would draft nine players in that year’s draft – including several who are now members of the AHL’s Rochester Americans.
23. Mark Pysyk - Defense
Pysyk is one name that all Buffalo Sabres fans should recognize, particularly after his breakout season that put him on the minds of AHL and NHL fans alike. Pysyk, an Alberta-born and grown boy, came out of the WHL’s Edmonton Oil Kings system to face his first season in the AHL this year. Before joining the Rochester Americans, he had played in Edmonton from 2008-2012, where he had 25 goals and 100 assists for 125 points in a collective 249 games. He was captain of the Oil Kings from 2010-2012 and won the Ed Chynoweth Cup with the Oil Kings in 2012. This season, he played in 57 games with the AHL’s Rochester Americans, tallying four goals and 14 assists in that stretch. He also made his NHL debut, appearing in 19 games with the Buffalo Sabres. Pysyk scored his first NHL goal on April 19 and also had four assists in his NHL stint.
68. Jerome Gauthier-Leduc – Defense
Gauthier-Leduc is one of two QMJHL players drafted by the Buffalo Sabres in 2010. After spending two seasons with the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies prior to his draft, the Quebec City native joined the Rimouski Oceanic from 2010-12 for his final two seasons in the league. He ended his QMJHL career having played 243 regular season games and 43 playoff games, tallying 79 goals and 144 assists total over four seasons. He joined the AHL’s Rochester Americans this past season and appeared in 48 regular season games, scoring seven points (3-4) in that stretch.
75. Kevin Sundher – Center
Sundher, a native of Surrey, BC, is one of four WHL players drafted by the Sabres in 2010. He spent parts of four seasons with the Chilliwack Bruins before playing for the Victoria Royals and Brandon Wheat Kings. His final season in the WHL was split between Victoria (22g, 42a, 40 gp) and Brandon (4g, 7a, 18 gp). Sundher joined the Rochester Americans this past season, tallying four goals and nine assists and adding 26 penalty minutes in 38 games played with the team.
83. Matt Mackenzie – Defense
Like Sundher, MacKenzie is another WHL boy drafted by the Sabres in 2010. He played with the Calgary Hitmen from 2007 until 2010-11, when he joined the Tri-City Americans. He ended his WHL career with 18 goals, 80 assists and 180 penalty minutes in 235 regular season games. MacKenzie joined the Rochester Americans for twenty games in the 2011-12 season, tallying four assists and 16 penalty minutes. He also played with the Gwinnett Gladiators of the ECHL, appearing in five games. He split this past season between Rochester and the ECHL’s Greenville Road Warriors, tallying five assists in 32 games with Rochester (including a pair of playoff games) and scoring one goal in two games with Greenville.
98. Steven Shipley – Center
Shipley was drafted out of the OHL’s Owen Sound Attack, but he joined the Niagara IceDogs shortly after. This past season marks his third in Niagara. The Ilderton native had a career-best season, scoring 32 goals and 35 assists for 67 points in 66 games played during the regular season. He was an important component of Niagara’s lineup, also adding five points in five playoff games with the team. Overall, he’s scored 268 points in 325 regular season games in the Ontario Hockey League. Shipley was not signed by the Buffalo Sabres.
143. Gregg Sutch - Right Wing
Sutch was drafted after playing his third season in the OHL. He had spent time with the Sarnia Sting and Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors, and after being drafted spent a year with the OHL’s Barrie Colts. He spent this past season with the Saginaw Spirit, where the Newmarket native had four goals and eight assists in 42 regular season games. Sutch was not signed by the Buffalo Sabres.
173. Cedrick Henley – Left Wing
Henley has been a Val-d’Or boy through and through the past few years. He joined the Foreurs of the QMJHL in 2008 and has played there – his hometown – ever since. This past season, Henley had career-highs in goals, assists, points and penalty minutes. He tallied 31 goals, 33 assists and 90 penalty minutes in 64 regular season games with the Foreurs before adding 10 goals and three assists in 15 playoff games. In total, he’s played 244 regular season games with the Foreurs, scoring 61 goals and 90 assists (plus 11 points in 24 playoff games!) Henley was not signed by the Buffalo Sabres.
203. Christian Isackson – Right Wing
Isackson has spent the past two seasons with the University of Minnesota. In 2011-12, the Pine City native went pointless in 11 games. Last season, he had four goals and 16 assists for 20 points and 20 penalty minutes in 40 games played. Isackson has not been signed by the Buffalo Sabres, but he is not required to sign until he completes his collegiate career with the Gophers.
208. Riley Boychuk- Left Wing
Since being drafted in 2010, Boychuk has played in four different hockey leagues. Prior to being drafted, he was playing with the WHL’s Portland Winter Hawks, where he continued playing until the end of the 2010-11 season. He went on to join the Rochester Americans of the AHL for 26 games the following season, notching a pair of assists in his time there. He also played 20 games with the ECHL’s Gwinnett Gladiators that season, tallying a goal and four assists. Boychuk spent last season with the Fort Worth Brahmas of the Central Hockey League, where he scored eight goals and nine assists in 41 games.