The Hockey Spy’s 2010 NHL Entry Draft Preview – Mark Pysyk

Christopher Ralph is a sportswriter with a focus on hockey prospects, the entry draft, as well as occasional Flames coverage here at THW.

“Full Potential” Prospect Profile:

Please “Click Here” for “Notes Up Front” and the “Legend” for various topics covered below in my “Live Updated” NHL 2010 Draft Preview article.

Mark Pysyk (Click on name for up- to- date stats)

Mark Pysyk (left) {Photo Credit – Dylan Lynch @Flickr}

Date of birth: January 11, 1992
Place of birth: Edmonton, Alta., Canada
Ht: 6-1.25 Wt: 174
Shoots: R

Position: D
2009-10 Team:  Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)

NHL Status: Draft Eligible 2010


Pysyk biggest allure is his simply sublime skating ability. It’s even Niedermayer-esque. In addition he’s an extremely smart kid on and off the ice. He’s very calm with the puck and keeps the game simple, making good decisions in all aspects of the game.

The team that drafts Mark will be drafting him for the player he has the potential to be become. At worst, you likely have a smooth skating top 2 pairing blueliner that can eat up and give you solid minutes. Because of his hockey sense and hockey IQ to go with the skating, he also exhibits hints of very good offensive upside.

Scouts and GMs would prefer that he was bigger, and he does display some physical edge to his game, but he projects to be one of those efficient d-men who utilizes hockey smarts (positioning, angles and gap control) to get the job done – and completes his tasks with extreme proficiency.

Scout’s Honor:

“He’s just a safe, smooth-skating, first-pass guy. He’s much better when he keeps it simple. He’s not dynamic, but there are no flaws in his game.’
A scout in The Hockey News Draft Preview 2010

“One of the better skaters you will ever see, Pysyk is a good offensive minded defender who still takes care of his own end very well. Pysyk is an example of a tremendous talent playing on a very poor team the past couple of years but has still managed to put up respectable numbers in his situation. He has great awareness with and without the puck and can be relied on to make consistently intelligent decisions at both ends of the ice.”
– International Scouting Services NHL Draft Guide 2010

“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.”
– E.J. McGuire, Director NHL Central Scouting
“We’re really proud of the way Mark has developed both as a hockey player and as an outstanding member of the community. He carried our team on his back a lot of nights this winter and the fact that he played on a broken foot for a couple of games before he was forced to end his season early shows how much character he’s developed.”

– Edmonton Oil Kings General Manager Bob Green

Current Season:

2009-10:  Pysyk notched 24 points (7G -17A) playing 48 games in an injury-shortened (broken foot) second WHL season.

Other Accomplishments:

Even with a limited seasoned, he was named the Edmonton Oil Kings Most Valuable Player, Top Defenseman and Scholastic Player of the Year in 2009-10.



McKeen’s: What are your strong points and things you would like to work on?

Pysyk: I think my vision and hockey sense are one of my strong qualities, seeing the ice and making adjustments and playing under pressure. The ability to move the puck on transition is another attribute. I want to work on my speed, which includes foot speed and my shot.

Scouting Combine Performance: Mark had one of the best performances at the combine in May of this year in Toronto.

  • 3rd in Anaerobic Fitness: Peak Power Output (watts/kg)
  • 1st in Anaerobic Fitness: Mean Power Output (watts/kg)
  • 1st in Coordination: Hand-Eye
  • 8th in Muskeletal: Right Hand Grip (lb)
  • 8th in Musculoskeletal: Left Hand Grip (lb)

International Tournaments:

  • Pysyk played on Team Canada’s gold medal squad at the 2009 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament.

ETA = 4 yrs

Risk-Reward Analysis: Risk = 1/5   Reward = 4.25/5

NHL Potential: Smooth-skating Two-way (defense first) Blueliner


*See “One Timer” section above.

  • Silky smooth skater, possibly the best in the draft.
  • High hockey IQ
  • Very good breakout passes
  • “Puck calmness”
  • Currently plays a simple, yet effective defensive game
  • Strong defensively
  • Offensive potential given skating and hockey intelligence; he already possesses the uncanny ability to know when to jump into the rush.
  • Excellent character
  • Play in any situation
  • Mature for his age

Flaws/Aspects He Needs To Work On:

  • Continue to train to increase strength and add mass to help strengthen his physical play and ability to deal with forwards at the pro level.
  • No other glaring weaknesses. Would benefit from playing with better teammates.

Fantasy Hockey Potential: Offensive = 7/10   Defensive = 9/10

NHL Player(s) Comparison:

At his best: Duncan Keith, Dan Hamhuis, Scott Niedermayer


* Prospect Feature

Interesting Notes:  (

His favorite number is three, but it was a number four signature that required him to wear an old jersey for his first home game after the 2010 CHL Top Prospects Game. Bobby Orr, his coach at the event, signed the jersey he had brought for the skills competition: “I had to wear my old one because the other one has a Bobby Orr autograph on it. But it’s Bobby Orr! I think I was the only guy that got it signed. But why not? I can just take the number off and have that as a keepsake.”

Other Rankings:


ISS: 17

TSN: 12 {Bob MacKenzie}

McKeens: 16

THN: 16

THW:  17 (June ’10) {Christopher Ralph }

*For all the latest prospect and draft news follow me on Twitter: The Hockey Spy

This document is the intellectual property of Christopher Ralph and cannot be used or duplicated in any way without expressed written consent. Any use of this document without the expressed written consent of Christopher Ralph will result in public exposure and legal prosecution.