Going about his business, Logan Pyett quietly having one of the best seasons among defensemen in the Western Hockey League.
On a Regina Pats squad that sits third in the East Division, Pyett has accumulated little fanfare en route to posting impressive numbers in his third season in the league.
He’s doing it at the right time, too.
Ranked 100th among North American skaters by the Central Scouting Service, Pyett is eligible for the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, to be held in Vancouver this offseason. The rankings are something Pyett is trying to ignore, as is the draft.
“I haven’t really thought about it,” said Pyett, echoing the mantra many draft eligible players.
Surrounded by only a handful of drafted players on the Pats roster, including Boston Bruins prospect Petr Kalus and Columbus Blue Jackets draft pick Derek Reinhart, Pyett has struggled to find players on the squad that have gone through the same experience he is currently embarking on.
“It’s tough to get anything out of [Kalus], being European,” said Pyett, who describes himself as a two-way defenseman with strong skating, but needing to improve upon the physical aspects of the game.
“Reinhart has talked about going to camp and how exciting that is so I’m sure it’ll be a positive experience.”
Pyett is finding he’s not alone in the experience though. He is just one of several Regina Pats players who are eligible for the 2006 draft. The 5’11, 199-pounder is having fun with one teammate in particular.
“I and (Justin) Bernhardt get it going quite a bit but I don’t think we really worry about it that much either,” he said with a smile. “We’re good friends so if there is a competition it’s friendly.”
While Pyett is ranked 100th, Bernhardt is close by at 116th.
Pyett understands what he’ll have to do to stay ahead in his healthy competition with Bernhardt, and improve his draft position.
“I’ve got to go out and play every night how I would normally and whatever happens happens,” he said.
With little fanfare, Pyett is doing just that. He’s managed to position himself among the league’s top ten scorers among blueliners.
Registering seven goals and 34 points in 52 games this season, the native of Balgonie, Sask. is quick to share this season’s successes with his teammates.
“We’ve got a lot more firepower this year up front so that makes it easier,” said Pyett. “Get the puck up to them and get shots on net and they’re putting the puck in the net for me. [I] had a little bit of a slow start to the year but she’s coming back around in the second half of the year.”
Still, Pyett’s emergence so far this season wasn’t enough to garner him a roster spot in the 2006 CHL Top Prospects Game. The game features 40 of the league’s top eligible draftees.
Obviously disappointed to not receive an invitation to the event, Pyett recognizes that his slow start inevitably resulted in his absence in the game.
“There were lots of good players there and I had a slow start to the season in the first half,” admitted Pyett. “It would’ve been nice to go – unfortunately I didn’t. I just look forward to the rest of the year.”
With the Pats this year, Pyett certainly has a lot to look forward to, and definitely more so than last year.
The Pats, who were the Western Hockey League’s doormats last season, with just 12 wins in 72 games, have turned around the club dramatically. The Pats already boast more than double the wins this year than last, with 28.
“Last year was tough,” admitted Pyett, who registered 24 points in 67 games last year.
“It’s almost a whole different team. We’ve got better offensive players and we’re that much older. All our young guys are back, so we have that experience and it’s made a difference.”
Copyright 2006 Hockey’s Future. Do not reprint or otherwise duplicate without permission of the editorial staff.