If you’ve been reading Sabres Prospects this year you know how well Tyler Myers has played. Arguably one of the best defensive prospects in hockey, he has been a key component in the Kelowna Rockets’ recent playoff run; and was named series MVP of the WHA Final.
All of that is good news for Sabres fans, but even better news came today when the team announced that Myers signed an entry level contract with the team.
Buffalo Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier announced today the Sabres have signed defenseman Tyler Myers to a three-year entry level contract. Myers was Buffalo’s first selection (12th overall) in the 2008 Entry Draft.
“Tyler is having an outstanding year with the Kelowna Rockets,” said General Manager Darcy Regier. “This past weekend he led the Rockets to the Western Hockey League Championship where he was named playoff MVP. He is a big, strong player who has excellent hockey skills for a 19-year old player. We’re glad to have him signed and look forward to his continued development both on and off the ice.”
It’s not often that a draft pick moves up the depth charts this quickly, but it definitely is good to see. I haven’t seen him play in Juniors this year, but I was impressed by his foot speed at rookie camp last year and he was very good at the World Juniors back in January.
Myers has one more season of junior eligibility. The signing means he will spend next season in Buffalo or Kelowna. He can play 10 games with the Sabres, who can then decide if he should go back to juniors for more development. He is not eligible to play in the American Hockey League.
Word on the street is that Myers will see some time with the Sabres this year, but the team is always cautious with its prospects. However, with the cap the way it is and a blue line in a bit of turmoil, Myers may be a welcome sight for Sabres fans and general managers alike.
Consider the following: Spacek and Numminen are both unlikely to return to the team, and Sekera is an RFA. After next season, the salary cap will certainly go down and the Sabres have another three defenseman (Tallinder, Lydman, and Paetsch) coming off the books. Getting Myers some ice time with the big club just might lock up one of those spots for October 2010, which would save the team a ton of money.
Either way, it’s been a quick climb for what would be one of the tallest defenders in the league. It’s a good sign for sure, and one Sabres fans should be excited about.