2006-07: The first ever draft pick of the Edmonton Oil Kings, Mark Pysyk was chosen in the first round (3rd overall) of the 2007 WHL Bantam Draft.
2007-08: Pysyk saw his first WHL action, playing in 14 games for the Oil Kings. He scored 1 goal and added 2 assists for 3 points.
2008-09: In his first full season with the Oil Kings, Pysyk scored 5 goals and added 15 assists for 20 points in 61 games. Pysyk played in 4 playoff games for the Oil Kings, registering no points in those contests.
2009-10: In 48 games for the Oil Kings, Pysyk scored 7 goals and added 17 assists for 24 points. He added 47 penalty minutes to his offensive totals. Played for Team Orr at the 2010 CHL Top Prospects Game, and was also a part of the WHL squad that faced Russia in the Subway Series.
2010-11: Pysyk led all Edmonton (WHL) defensemen with 6 goals and 34 assists in his third full season with the Oil Kings. His +29 plus/minus was second only to partner Keegan Lowe (CAR) who was +33 as the Oil Kings topped 30 wins for the first time in the club’s four-year history. In four playoff games he was scoreless and -1 with 6 PMs. Pysyk signed a three-year entry-level deal with the Sabres in June 2011.
2011-12: Pysyk returned to Edmonton for a fourth WHL season and was part of Canada’s bronze medal-winning team at the 2012 U20 World Junior Championship. Playing on one of the top defensive units in junior hockey with the Oil Kings, he scored 6 goals with 32 assists in 57 games and was plus-15 with 56 penalty minutes. Edmonton had the league’s best record and lost just once in the playoffs prior to the classic seven-game final series with Portland. Pysyk was plus-nine, scored 3 goals with 8 assists, and had 16 penalty minutes in 20 WHL playoff games. He was the third-leading scorer amongst all skaters for Edmonton at the Memorial Cup, finishing with 3 assists in four games and was minus-three with 12 penalty minutes. Playing for Canada at the WJC, he was plus-seven and had no points with 2 penalty minutes. Canada defeated Finland in the bronze medal game.
2012-13: Pysyk made his NHL debut in March 2013 – skating in 19 games for the Sabres as a 21-year-old after spending most of his first pro season in the AHL with Rochester. He scored 1 goal with 4 assists and was -7; averaging 16:16 minutes of ice time with Buffalo. In 57 AHL games with the Amerks he scored 4 goals with 14 assists and was +8 with 20 penalty minutes. Rochester finished second in the North Division and were swept by first place Toronto in a first round playoff series. Pysyk returned to Rochester for the AHL playoffs and in three games was +2 with no points and 2 penalty minutes.
Pysyk’s greatest strength is his ability to skate with the puck and make smart plays with it. Pysyk is not flashy, but he routinely makes excellent first passes and possesses a high hockey IQ. Even though Pysyk leans towards the more offensive side of the game, he does not have a good enough shot to quarterback the first unit powerplay.
Pysyk adjusted quickly to the much faster and more physical AHL after four years in the WHL. Management is impressed with Pysyk’s rapid development, making him the front-runner to win a job on the Sabres blueline. In the future, Pysyk projects to be an offensive defenseman who can play on the second pairing.