In 1972 the Chicago Blackhawks drafted defender Phil Russell in the first round from the Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL). These many years later, another Oil King blueliner might make the first round in 2010.
Mark Pysyk (19gp, 3-11-14 +5) is a 6.01, 175 RH defender who has some things to recommend him. Redline liked him enough to have him #28 and ISS has him #11 currently.
Brad Hornung (Hornung on Hockey to the right on the blogroll) is a scout with an eye for talent and had this to say about Pysyk last season: “At his age, he displays an excellent overall understanding of his position. As a defenseman, he doesn’t get caught out of position and plays a sound, disciplined game. He handles the puck with composure, and usually makes the best choice when moving the puck.”
Mr Hornung will likely update Pysyk sometime this season and he’s a player to watch despite an early season concussion. Among the things that make him an attractive prospect are skating ability, his puck handling and passing, and the fact he can play the position. A nice range of skills. He is currently ranked #2 among WHL skaters by Central Scouting for the 2010 draft. He has been compared in style to both Rod Langway and Brooks Orpik.