Maybe that other Tyler taken by the Sabres in the first round of the 2008 draft will be a pretty good player too. Tyler Ennis was selected after Tyler Myers, who took Sabres Nation by storm last season en route to a Calder Trophy but Ennis is beginning to generate his own excitement amongst fans of the Blue and Gold.
Taken 26th overall from the Medicine Hat Tigers of the Western Hockey League, Ennis should be getting consideration for this season's Rookie of the Year award thanks to a strong second half. The Edmonton native has 43 points which is good for third in rookie scoring behind Carolina's Jeff Skinner(who played in the All Star Game) and Logan Couture of the San Jose Sharks. Ennis is tied for first among all rookies in assists with 26.
His strong play might not be a surprise considering the buzz he generated during his short stint with the Sabres last season. The diminutive forward scored a goal in his NHL debut in Philadelphia. He was sent back to Portland to finish a season that would earn him American Hockey League Rookie of the Year honors, then returned to Buffalo on an emergency recall. Ennis recorded 3 goals and 6 assists in 10 regular season games but his play during the playoff series with Boston opened some eyes. Seemingly one of few forwards showing signs of life, the 5-9 175 pounder had a goal and 3 assists in the 6 games. At locker clean out day, General Manager Darcy Regier said Ennis was told his spot for the following season wasn't guaranteed but you knew he was going to be here and that he would contribute.
As the saying goes in sports, you want to be playing your best as the post season approaches and the 21 year old Ennis is doing just that. Statistically his best month has been January with 10 points but only halfway through March, he already has 8 with 4 goals and 4 assists. Going back even further, like the team, Ennis has been better since the first of the year with 25 points in his last 29 games. The only one to play in every game for Buffalo this season, Ennis is third in scoring and tied for third in goals.