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2014 NHL Draft
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Thomas Vanek
NUMBER: 26 BIRTHDATE: January 19, 1984  (AGE 30)
HEIGHT: 6' 0" BIRTHPLACE: Vienna, Austria
WEIGHT: 217 DRAFTED: BUF / 2003 NHL Entry Draft
Shoots: Right ROUND: 1st   (5th overall)
<span class="txt18Strg">All-Star Profile </span><br /> <br /> <a href="#quick"><b>QUICK FACTS</b></a><br /> <a href="#he"><b>HE SAID IT</b></a><br /> <a href="#they"><b>THEY SAID IT</b></a><br /> <a href="#news"><b>IN THE NEWS</b></a><br /> <a href="#video"><b>VIDEO FEATURES</b></a><br /> <br /> <a name="quick"></a><b>QUICK FACTS</b><br /> Vanek notched 11 goals in his first 11 contests this season. Former Sabres 'French Connection' wing Rick Martin is the only other player in franchise history to accomplish the feat. Vanek currently is locked in a close three-way race for the League's goal-scoring lead with Washington's Alex Ovechkin and Philadelphia's Jeff Carter. Vanek led all Sabres goal scorers for the second consecutive season in 2007-08 with 36, led the NHL with four hat tricks, ranked second in the NHL in power-play goals with 19 and topped the Sabres in game-winning goals (nine). <br /> <br /> In 2006-07, just his second NHL season, Vanek scored a team-leading 43 goals and led the NHL in plus-minus with a +47 rating. Vanek became the first '40-40' player since Colorado's Milan Hejduk in 2002-03 (50 goals, +52). The Vienna, Austria, native and former University of Minnesota star tallied the most goals by a Sabre since Alexander Mogilny's team-record 76 in 1992-93. His total of 84 points (43-41--84 in 82 games) was 36 more than he amassed in his rookie campaign (25-23--48 in 81 games). <br /> <br /> <a name="he"></a><b>HE SAID IT</b><br /> On the weight of playing with a big contract: &quot;I left at an early age from back home to chase my dream of playing in the NHL and win a Stanley Cup. The money's not going to change the work I put in the off-season and everything else. I put a tremendous amount of pressure on myself.&quot; <br /> <br /> <a name="they"></a><b>THEY SAID IT</b><br /> Sabres forward Drew Stafford: &quot;Whether it's his stickwork in front of the net, getting tips or on straight-up shots, when he's got the puck in scoring position there's a pretty good chance he's scoring. He's so talented at finding ways to get open.&quot; <br /> <br /> Sabres forward Jason Pominville: &quot;In the last part of last season, he just lit up and was scoring from everywhere. It's gone that way this year and who knows how many he can score if it keeps up this way.&quot; <br /> <br /> <a name="news"></a><b>IN THE NEWS</b><br /> <a href="http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=387672&amp;cmpid=rss">Vanek Makes You Believe He's Too Good To Be True</a><br /> <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/sports/hockey/2008-11-06-3145305444_x.htm">Vanek's Hot Start Has Buffalo Soaring</a><br /> <a href="http://www.buffalonews.com/sports/story/524268.html">Worth His Weight in Goals</a><br /> <br /> <a name="video"></a><b>VIDEO FEATURES</b><br /> <a href="http://www.nhl.tv/team/console.jsp?&amp;id=20510">Vanek Feature</a><br /> <br />
Quote of the Day

What we expected is what we got. Very mature young individual that's focused. He is on the right track. He's not only a great hockey individual, but he's a good person off the ice. He seemed to take a leadership role with this group right off the hop and ran away with it, and was vocal, was respectful, was everything it takes to be a Panther. His future looks bright.

— Florida Panthers director of player development Brian Skrudland on defenseman Aaron Ekblad's performance at development camp