Pysyk goes to Sabres

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:28 AM ET

EDMONTON - LOS ANGELES — Mark Pysyk was getting pretty worried when the rounds passed by and his name hadn’t been called yet.

Not because he was afraid of falling into the latter half of the first round, but because he didn’t want to go up there with his suit jacket wrapped around his waist.

“I was thinking, I’ll go sometime,” said the Edmonton Oil Kings defenceman.

“The only thing I was worried about was I had to pee a little bit and I didn’t know how long I’d have to wait.”

The Buffalo Sabres provided the relief, selecting him 23rd overall.

“I had a quick interview with them Thursday,” said Pysyk, who was ranked seventh among North American skaters by Central Scouting and projected to be drafted at about 16th by TSN. “I thought it went well, and obviously it went pretty well. It’s incredible.

“I think my sister started crying, she was so happy. My mom screamed, he was so excited that they called my name.”

Like all draft picks, the next few minutes are kind of hazy.

“I was on the carpet walking up to shake Gary Bettman’s hand. He told me ‘Welcome to the NHL.’

“I remember standing up there smiling into the camera, I could feel my lips quivering. I had to hold on. I think that’s why people put their arms around each other so the draft pick doesn’t fall down from shaking so much.”

After the sweater presentation there was a TV interview, photos and, at long last, a bathroom break.

He is the first Oil King to go in the first round.

“It’s was a great opportunity for me. I put a lot of responsibility on myself and had to learn a lot. Steve Pleau, Rocky Thompson, Bob Green, I have to thank them for giving me the opportunity. First Oil King to go in the first round, a great honour.

“Hopefully I won’t be the last. Hopefully next year a couple of guys will go, I hope we started something.”

robert.tychkowski@sunmedia.ca


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