Defending Big D continues our annual series of looking at top draft prospects that could possibly have their name called by the Dallas Stars at the 2010 Entry Draft. Today we look to defense, a position near and dear to Stars' fans hearts this go around. The cupboard is bare defensively, could the Stars look to start re-stocking with Mark Pysyk?
Date of Birth: Jan 11, 1992
Place of Birth: Edmonton, AB, CAN
Central Scouting Rank: 7th in North America
2009-2010: Edmonton Oil Kings Stats:
What they're saying:
NHL Director of Central Scouting, E.J. McGuire
"He finished the season with a broken foot and a lot of scouts weren't able to get a good grip on how good this player's going to be in the NHL. Smooth-skating, he has a neat knack for following up the play at the right time, leading the rush at the right time and throwing a crisp pass to one of his forwards to break out of his zone."
Pysyk is a solid all around defenseman who doesn’t make a lot of mistakes on the ice. Despite playing on one of the worst teams in the CHL, where he has to log a considerable amount of minutes, Pysyk is a calming force on the blue line. His offensive ability is starting to come around, but he’ll be a real safe pick in the mid teens.
Why the Stars would take him:
Pysyk is described as everything the Stars are looking for: A good "first pass" defenseman who can start a rush out of his own zone. He runs a power play well enough, and kills penalties as well. He's by all accounts a great skater who's size will fill out a little more as his body matures. His -19 number isn't exactly shiny, but the Edmonton Oil Kings are universally accepted to be a dreadful team that Pysyk carried himself on many night's last season. If the Stars are looking for defense (and Forbort is likely gone by 11) then Pysyk could be a safe pick at 11.
Why they wouldn't take him:
After the top three defensemen, who are sure to be gone by pick 5 or 6 in this draft, Pysyk is on the next tier that many project into the lower teens and may not be the best player available at #11. The most likely "best player available" scenarios have forwards slotted for the Stars here. Then there's this report (via Andrew's Stars Page) that says Pysyk is not willing to pay the price in his own zone, and can at times throw the puck away when he hears footsteps. That's not what you want to hear. A broken foot caused him to miss 24 game last year, making him a somewhat unknown commodity according to some.