Edmonton, AB – For the first time in the team’s modern history, an Edmonton Oil Kings player has been named the Western Hockey League’s Player of the Week. And it’s only fitting that player was the modern franchise’s first-ever bantam draft pick.
The WHL announced Monday Oil Kings defenceman and team captain Mark Pysyk — selected third overall by Edmonton in the 2007 Bantam Draft — is this week’s Player of the Week. Pysyk picked up six points, scoring one goal and five assists to go with a plus-3 rating, in two games over the past week, helping the Oil Kings earn three out of a possible four points.
The Oil Kings dropped a 5-4 shootout decision to the Prince Albert Raiders at Rexall Place last Wednesday, and the Sherwood Park native collected two assists and was named the game’s first star. And this past Friday, the Brandon Wheat Kings were in Edmonton to face the Oil Kings, and Pysyk scored once, added three assists and was named the game’s second star as the home side doubled up the Wheat Kings 8-4.
The 18-year-old has racked up nine points in his last four games, bringing his season point total to 14 (one goal, 13 assists) in 23 games played. The Oil Kings have gone undefeated through regulation in their last five games (4-0-0-1) and currently sit in eighth place in the WHL’s Eastern Conference with a 12-14-0-2 record.
Pysyk has had a hugely successful last six months, starting with his first-round selection (23rd overall) to the Buffalo Sabres at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. He also attended Hockey Canada’s National Junior Team Development Camp, and leaves for Toronto on Saturday for the World Junior Selection Camp. He also recently played for Team WHL against Russia at the Subway Super Series for the second year in a row.
Boston Pizza WHL Player of the Week
Nov. 29 – Dec. 5: Mark Pysyk, Edmonton Oil Kings
Nov. 22 – Nov. 28: Linden Vey, Medicine Hat Tigers
Nov. 15 – Nov. 21: Kellan Tochkin, Everett Silvertips
Nov. 8 – Nov. 14: Brendan Ranford, Kamloops Blazers
Nov. 1 – Nov. 7: Mitchell Callahan, Kelowna Rockets
Oct. 25 – Oct. 31: Andrej Kudrna, Red Deer Rebels
Oct. 18 – Oct. 24: Craig Cunningham, Vancouver Giants
Oct. 11 – Oct. 17: Sena Acolatse, Prince George Cougars
Oct. 4 – Oct. 10: Darian Dziurzynski, Saskatoon Blades
Sept. 27 – Oct. 3: Brad Ross, Portland Winterhawks
Sept. 24 – Sept. 26: Tyler Maxwell, Everett Silvertips
Pysyk and the Oil Kings head to Calgary to play the Hitmen on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Scotiabank Saddledome, which will be the blue-liner’s last game before World Junior tryouts. The Oil Kings’ next home game is Saturday, Dec. 11 against the Kelowna Rockets at 7 p.m., as it’s Kids Eat Free Night at Rexall Place.
Individual game tickets for all Oil Kings home games are on sale now and start at just $15 in the ATB Financial Zone. Season seats start at less than $9 per game, with the addition of some new Mini-Packs and Flex Plans this season as well. Tickets are available at any Ticketmaster outlet, online at oilkings.ca, or by calling 780-414-GOAL (4625).