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Mark Pysyk

North American Skater - Edmonton, WHL
Final Rank:7Midterm Rank:9
Position:DefensemanShoots:Right
Height:6' 1"Weight:174
Born:January 11, 1992Hometown:Sherwood Park, AB
Born in:Edmonton, AB, CAN
Drafted: 2010: BUF (1st Round / 23rd Overall) 


On his strengths: Strong in my own end, keeping the puck away from our net, making a good first pass, and then if the opportunity presents itself, then jumping up in the play and maybe getting in on the offense, as well.

On patterning his game after an NHLer: I think Shea Weber -- a lot of work to do to get there obviously, but I think that's a good role model for myself. Like I think I like to play. Good in his defensive zone, as well as the offensive zone.

On getting his start in hockey: I lived in Edmonton when I was little, and I think I just asked my parents to start playing hockey when I was little and they signed me up. And I remember we played on an outdoor rink for the first few years which was pretty cold in Edmonton, but you've got to do it for the love of the game.

On his childhood idol: I really liked Jarome Iginla because my grandparents are from Calgary, and big Flames fans and I think I just followed them that way, and still like Jarome today.

On having fun on the outdoor rink: Yeah, I don't think it's a good thing that it's so much fun because you might get frostbite on your hands or your feet. But you never want to get off the ice, just want to stay out there all day. But sooner or later after you come off and I think just out there hanging out, having a good time with your buddies, that's probably when it's the best and that's why you want to keep playing, so you can keep playing that game for the rest of your life.

On his path to the WHL: We moved to Sherwood Park when I was in grade three and I played for the Strathcona Warriors just outside of Sherwood Park -- so I played there for a bit, and it had a nice little arena in the middle of nowhere. That's where we played our home games. And just working hard every year, and my buddy, I think there's only two people on that team in the Western Hockey League right now, Joe Morrow of the Portland Winter Hawks was the other and we became good buddies and I think his dad (Dave Morrow) helped me out, as well. He coached me all the way up.

On the biggest influence on his career: I would have to say just Dave Morrow, just like I said, they have a big lake by their house, so we would always be out there most of the days I was at his house and his dad would come out and just teach us. You don't always like to be taught stuff when you are out on the pond just messing around, but just having him there telling you stuff and stories when he played hockey, it's definitely good for us.

On being selected first by the Oil Kings in the Bantam Draft: It was cool being the first pick. I really had no TV experience, and then I got drafted and I was talking to Bob Green on the phone, the general manager, and he was telling me about the press conference in a few days or that day. I didn't really know what to expect, but it was pretty cool. I put the jersey on in front of the cameras. I was shaking, I remember, real sweaty, I was so nervous, but it was definitely cool being the first pick.

On playing over 20 minutes per game as a WHL rookie: Last year, I think I was trying to get more minutes -- on power play, penalty kill, first year in the league. I think this year getting more and more, it's tough some nights when you play three games in three days and at the start of the game your legs are a little sore already after pregame warm up. It's a little tough sometimes that way but it's a game you love and you want to play the most and it's fun being out on the ice. I would rather be on the ice than sitting on the bench so I can't complain.

On his most memorable moment so far: I think playing my first WHL game, it was my 15 year old year, I was playing in Midget and I think I missed the road trip with my Midget team. I was kind of sad about that but I went up to play in Red Deer and I got a shot on net that game, and I was just so excited, it was pretty neat.

On the tough times in his career: We went on an 11 game losing streak this year. It's tough to get over those and we can't really win in the shootout right now. But it's coming, and I think just pushing through that, sticking together as a team, I think that helps me out as well.

On his toothless smile: Yeah, last game before Christmas this year, I got a high stick, and this one here is a fake tooth, as well. I can take it out. I just never grew an adult one there, and so I was missing that one and chipped my only good one.

If he could be a celebrity for a day…: It would probably be Brad Paisley or Kenny Chesney. I just love the two of them. They are great musicians and have a good life it seems just singing. And Kenny Chesney, all his videos, he's on an island on his boats, so I think that would be fun.

On the best give he’s received: Two years ago I got a truck for my birthday, an old beat up GMC Sierra, so that's probably the best gift.

On the Olympic sport he’d like to compete in: I think bobsledding would be cool. I like the movie Cool Runnings, so that would be fun ripping down it the mountain in that little bobsled.