PITTSBURGH -- Amherst native Dylan Blujus honed his skills with the Buffalo Regals before heading to Brampton of the OHL and earning a top-75 rating among North American skaters. Where would that land him?
Second round to Tampa Bay, No. 40 overall. The 6-foot-3, 193-pound defenseman said he was hoping for round two and he got his wish. That's Blujus in the photo with Tampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman.
"I had a good talk with Tampa Bay so that was one of the teams on my radar," Blujus said. "I was very happy coming in. It's great to be the first one off the board in Western New York so I'm defintely happy about that."
Blujus has plenty of Western New York in his background. He played for the Wheatfield Blades under former Amherst star and Washington Capitals defenseman Peter Scamurra. He played for the Buffalo Regals. His sister, Brittany, is a former Buffalo Jill who is married to Dan Gronkowski so Blujus is part of that family.
"It's exciting to be a part of that family with their craziness," he said. "I get a little taste of the NFL right there and now I can give them a little taste of the NHL."
Blujus lists Tyler Myers as his favorite player and was part of the Sabres' recent combine. He said he thought it was possible he'd be picked by Buffalo but was happy with Tampa because he has family in Florida and because someday he could play in Syracuse, the Lightning's new AHL affiliate.
"They have a great guy in [general manager] Steve Yzerman right there," he said. "With a world-class guy like that anything can happen. They definitely have a great team with Steven Stamkos and everyone around him."
Hear audio of Blujus' chat with reporters below:
Getty Images photo: Blujus with Yzerman on the draft floor.