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by Kris Baker / Buffalo Sabres


The Present
A steady right-handed defender, Pysyk’s smooth skating and simple execution made for a seamless transition to the pro game in 2012-13. When a 20-year old goes stretches without being noticed on an NHL blue line, it’s never a bad thing. Such was the case in Pysyk’s late season recall, as the WHL product just went about business in his 19-game stint to establish himself as one of Ron Rolston’s more trusted options.

The hallmarks of Pysyk’s game are his smarts and superb footwork. His sound positional approach puts him in the right place at the right time, while his quick decision-making and accurate passing make him valuable in getting the play up ice. There is little panic when the puck comes his way, giving the Sabres a mature, coachable option that will only to continue to improve with each passing block of games.

The Future
All signs point to Pysyk settling in as an all-situations workhorse who leads by example much how Duncan Keith functions on the back end in Chicago. His poise and discipline will allow him to gobble up big even-strength minutes, while his mobility and two-way reliability should make him a key contributor both with and when defending the man advantage. He’ll never be an intimidating physical presence, but he doesn’t need to be with his smart stick and attention to detail in all three zones of the ice.

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