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Draft Edition: Did You Know?

by Staff Writer / Buffalo Sabres
Buffalo has not drafted a Canadian born player in the first-round of the NHL Entry Draft since selecting Daniel Paille 20th overall in 2002. Prior to Paille's selection, Martin Biron - 16th overall pick in 1995 - was the last Canadian player chosen by the Sabres in the first round.

In the past 10 years, 36 per cent of the Sabres' first round picks have been born in the United States. Note: Buffalo held a pair of first-round picks in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.

United States (4) - Erik Rasmussen '96, Barrett Heisten '99, Keith Ballard '02, Drew Stafford '04.
Russia (2) - Dmitri Kalinin '98, Artem Kriukov '00
Austria (1)- Thomas Vanek '03
Canada (1) - Daniel Paille '02
Czech Republic (1) - Jiri Novotny '01
Finland (1) - Mika Noronen '97
Slovakia (1) - Marek Zagrapan '05

Prior to the 1979 draft, no US College player had ever been selected in the first round.

Buffalo broke the streak when they selected Mike Ramsey from Minnesota-Duluth with the 11th overall selection in 1979. Ramsey appeared in 911 games for the Sabres over 14 seasons, recording 73 goals and 329 points. His 924 penalty minutes still ranks eighth in franchise history.

A New Selection at 24
The Sabres have never drafted a player with the 24th selection of any draft.

Youth Movement
Buffalo has drafted 21 players directly out of high school, including last year's second seventh-round pick, Andrew Oprik. Selecting a high schooler seems to be a high risk, high reward proposition.

Of the 21 players only four had NHL careers that lasted longer than 150 NHL games: Phil Housley '82; Tom Barrasso '83; Keith Carney '88 and Derek Plante '89.

Those four players have combined to appear in 3,599 games, while the other 17 just 301.

Year of the International Player
The highest concentration of international players selected in one draft came in 2000. With 123 selections, players who competed overseas made up 42 percent of the draft pool. Buffalo claimed the rights to three Russian prospects that year, including Kriukov, Denis Denisov and Vasily Bizyayev.

All three remain in Buffalo's system.

In the past five years, just over 31 percent (14 of 45 selections) have been imports from countries outside North America.
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