Archive for September 6, 2006

Newcomer – Taylor Pyatt

September 6, 2006

Junior Team: Sudbury Wolves

Notable Teammates: Kip Brennan (Anaheim),  Andrew Raycroft (Toronto)

Best CHL Season: 89 points in 40 games

NHL Draft: 8th overall, 1st round

NHL Team: NY Islanders

Traded: 2001 with Tim Connelly (also a 1999 1st round pick) to Buffalo for Mike Peca

Traded: 2006 to Vancouver for a 4th round pick.

Best NHL Season: 28 points in 78 games

Pyatt is another notable underperformer from the 1999 draft year.  But more on that later.  Expected to become a power forward in the NHL, Pyatt has struggled to gain himself the credibility required to get onto the top 2 lines on a team on a consistent basis.

In 1999, the NY Islanders accumulated 4 first round picks in an effort to rebuild their team.  Pyatt was picked up along with Tim Connolly (5th), Branislav Mezei (10th), & Kristian Kudroc (28th).  All have struggled to peform consistently at the NHL level.

Time is running out though, and unless Taylor Pyatt can either step up to perform at a high level and become the power forward all expected, or reinvent himself as a strong defensive player he may be on his final legs in the big league.

But history is on Taylor’s side.  And a change of scenery serves as a catalyst for this.

Cam Neely spent 3 years playing in Vancouver before breaking out in Boston.  John Leclair also spent 3 years in Montreal before breaking out with Philadelphia.  Both broke out in their fourth year, but it was a change in their environment that accelerated it.

Bill Guerin toiled in New Jersey for 5 years before being traded to Edmonton and breaking out with them in his 6th year, leading the team in scoring in his first year there.  Todd Bertuzzi was part of the NY Islander organization before breaking out with the Canucks in his 6th year in the league.

It would be fair to consider Pyatt an equivalent talent to Bertuzzi & Guerin.  All three were consistent and credible scoring threats in their respective junior and college clubs averaging just over a point a game each.

This is Pyatt’s sixth season in the NHL, and he’s just obtained the essential change in scenery.  He should be ready & primed for a breakout. 

So, while the timing is perfect, it’s also running out for Taylor Pyatt.

The Chief Canuck