Buffalo, NY – Buffalo Sabres GM Darcy Regier announced today Edmonton Oil Kings captain and defenceman Mark Pysyk has signed a three-year entry level contract with the NHL squad.
“It’s unbelievable,” Pysyk said of inking his first pro contract. “I’m ecstatic to sign a deal with the Sabres. They’re a great organization and Buffalo is a great hockey town. I was so honoured when they drafted me a year ago and I’m really happy that I’ve proved myself enough since then for them to offer me a contract.”
Pysyk was the Sabres’ first-round pick (23rd overall) in the 2010 Entry Draft, becoming the first player in Oil Kings franchise history to be drafted in the opening round. In 187 career regular season games over four seasons with the Oil Kings, the 19-year-old from Sherwood Park, Alberta has scored 19 goals and 68 assists for 87 total points.
“Mark is a very intelligent hockey player who has played in all situations in junior,” Regier said. “He is a very strong skater with good puck moving abilities, and is developing into a very solid two-way defenceman.”
“Huge congratulations to Mark on behalf of the Oil Kings … we couldn’t be happier for him,” Oil Kings General Manager Bob Green said. “He’s put in so much hard work and this is him getting rewarded for that. He’s got such a bright future, and this is a great starting point for his professional career.”
Pysyk (6-foot-2, 182 pounds) set career highs in several major categories during the 2010-11 Western Hockey League season, his first as Oil Kings captain, tallying 34 assists and 40 total points in 63 games with a plus-29 rating. He was the Oil Kings’ MVP the past two seasons and top defenceman the past three seasons.
In addition to his achievements with the Oil Kings, Pysyk has also excelled on the international stage, competing for Team Canada at the 2009 World Under-17 Challenge and the 2009 Ivan Hlinka Under-18 Tournament. He also participated in the 2011 Selection Camp for Canada’s World Junior squad.