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FANS TOP FIVE: ALL-TIME ROOKIES

by Staff Writer / Buffalo Sabres
Sabres.com wants you to chronicle the top moments in Sabres history with the Fans Top Five countdown. Each week, we will select a category and list five choices for fans to rank. Think we are missing one? Write in your own ballot.


RESULTS FROM LAST WEEK:

TOP 5 OT PLAYOFF GOALS
5. Woolley
4. Plante
3. Hannan
2. Pominville
1. May

This week, Sabres.com is counting down the top five rookies of all-time. Watch the 5 nominees below and rank them with 1 being your favorite. All rookie debuts are listed in chronological order and are not ranked.



 (Photo: Getty Images)

GILBERT PERREAULT

Not only was Gilbert Perreault the Buffalo Sabres first draft pick in franchise history, but after a stellar rookie season he also became the organization's first Calder Trophy winner.

Perreault lived up to the high expectations he faced in the team's comemmorative season, netting 38 goals and 72 points in the 1970-71 campaign.

To this day, Perreault still ranks among the top Sabres rookies, listed second all-time in first-year scoring.

YEAR TEAM GP G A PTS PIM
1970-71 Buffalo Sabres 78 38 34 72 19


 (Photo: Getty Images)
RICK MARTIN

Playing alongside Perreault in his sophomore season was linemate Rick Martin.

The only player in franchise history to eclipse Perreault's rookie performance, Martin is credited with 74 points in 1971-72, his first year in the NHL.

Martin is also ranked first all-time with 44 goals in his debut season.

YEAR TEAM GP G A PTS PIM
1971-72 Buffalo Sabres 73 44 30 74 36




 (Photo: Buffalo Sabres)
PHIL HOUSLEY

Phil Housley made headlines right from the start. Drafted 6th overall in the 1982 NHL Entry Draft by the Buffalo Sabres, he was the first player to go directly from an American high school to the NHL.

That year, the defenseman made his debut, playing 77 games and scoring 66 points. Housley was also named to the NHL's All-Rookie Team.

He is listed as first among rookies in franchise history, netting 47 assists in the 1982-83 campaign.

YEAR TEAM GP G A PTS PIM
1982-83 Buffalo Sabres 77 19 47 66 39

(Photo: Buffalo Sabres)
TOM BARRASSO

Following Housley, the Buffalo Sabres found another defensive weapon with the acquisition of goaltender Tom Barrasso.

Like Housley, Barasso also came to the NHL directly out of high school. Making his debut in the 1983-84 season at 18 years old, he became the youngest goaltender to win a game in the NHL since Harry Lumley accomplished the feat forty years before.

With a 26-12-3 record and 2.84 GAA, Barrasso won both the Calder Trophy and Vezina Trophy - the third player in NHL history to win both awards in the same year.

YEAR TEAM GP MIN GA GAA SV%
1983-84 Buffalo Sabres 42 2475 117 2.84 .893

(Photo: Buffalo Sabres)
RAY SHEPPARD

Ray Sheppard only played three seasons with the Buffalo Sabres, but the winger made it memorable.

Selected in the third round of the 1984 NHL Draft, Sheppard didn't carry the burden of high expectations for the Sabres.He did, however, exceeed them in his rookie year.

With 38 goals - including 15 on the power play - and 65 points in the 1987-88 season, Sheppard is ranked fourth all-time in rookie scoring - behind only Martin, Perreault and Housley. He was named to the NHL All Rookie Team and was nominated for the Calder Trophy.

YEAR TEAM GP G A PTS PIM
1987-88 Buffalo Sabres 74 38 27 65 14




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