Mark Pysyk Profile
Mark PysykHt/Wt: 6' 1"/180 lbs
Team: Edmonton (WHL)
Mark Pysyk's Player ProfileIt has been a tough year for Mark Pysyk. After being part of the Canadian team that won gold at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament this past summer, Pysyk rejoined his Edmonton Oil Kings teammates looking to improve upon their past season where they were able to make the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. Instead, the season became marred with injuries and losses.
After the Oil Kings started the season 4-1-0-2, Pysyk received a concussion in the eighth game of the year and was sidelined for two weeks. While he was out of the lineup, the team went 2-5-0-0 and things wouldn’t get any better as the Oil Kings would wind up winning only 12 of their final 65 games on their way to the worst record in the WHL Eastern Conference.
At the end of January, Mark broke his foot in a game blocking a shot. He played four more games before realizing it was broken, effectively ending his season 14 games early. All told, Pysyk managed to get into 48 of his team’s 72 games scoring 7 times while adding another 17 assists.
Mark is not your prototypical WHL defenseman. He is not a giant, physically intimidating player. Instead Mark’s game revolves around using his great hockey IQ and his top of the line skating ability. He excels in his own end where he consistently makes smart reads and is able to execute them while under pressure. He often makes plays many junior aged players would not think of.
The combination of Pysyk’s smarts and skating ability make him very effective in his zone as he can either skate the puck to safety, pass the puck using his solid puck moving skills or out-think his opponent to create the time and space he needs to either make a play or to wait for help if required. When defending the rush, Pysyk’s great skating ability and smarts allow him to close on forwards quickly where he chooses to use his stick instead of physically punishing his opponent.
Mark was relied upon heavily in all situations for the weak Edmonton squad, logging especially key minutes on the penalty kill and shutting down his opponent’s top line. His abilities allow him to be a very good special-teams player. While Pysyk’s game is more refined on the defensive aspect of the game, his skills and intelligence give credence to him being an effective power play quarterback in the future. His shot needs work, but isn’t horrible and it will continue to improve as he gains strength and weight.
Mark is a very talented young prospect with great upside. It also doesn’t hurt that he is a right-handed shot as those right-handed defensemen always seem to be in short supply. Judging where he goes on draft day will be a bit tricky however as there are some concerns about his game. Specifically his durability after the injuries he sustained this year, his size (Mark has average height, but is rail-thin and will likely need to add another 30 pounds to play in the NHL) and the lack of a physical game may hurt his draft stock.
Pros: extremely fluid skater, very fast, great awareness, hockey IQ
Cons: lack of physicality, injury history, size and strength
Skillset comparison: Jordan Leopold
Submitted by: Scott McDougall of TheScoutingReport.org
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Mark Pysyk Video Clips
Mark Pysyk vs Tanner Sohn (not much of a fight)
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