The Sabres own the 16th overall selection in the upcoming 2011 NHL Entry Draft, a spot they have picked from just twice before. Both times, they came away with a solid contributor and will look to continue that trend later this month in St. Paul, Minnesota. One player drafted by Buffalo at No. 16 wound up as the National Hockey League’s all-time leader in power play goals and remains the second-leading scorer in Sabres history, while the other became the fourth winningest goalie in franchise history as well as a fan favorite in Buffalo.
In 1982, the Sabres held three first round picks, selecting Phil Housley sixth overall and Paul Cyr ninth overall. With the 16th overall pick in the Draft, the team took a high scoring, big-bodied forward from the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League named Dave Andreychuk.
Andreychuk went on to have one of the longest careers the NHL has ever seen, appearing in 1,639 regular season games, which ranks sixth all-time, with six different teams over 23 seasons. He spent his first 10 seasons with the Sabres before being dealt to Toronto midway through his 11th season along with Darren Puppa and a first round pick in exchange for Grant Fuhr and a fifth round draft choice. Andreychuk would later return to Buffalo for a second stint in 2000-01, but made his mark in the Sabres’ record books during his years at the Aud.
While he never broke the 100-point or 50-goal plateaus in a Buffalo uniform, Andreychuk was a model of consistency and a prime point producer for the Blue and Gold. He topped the 30-goal mark in seven of his 10 full seasons with the team and went over 70 points on six occasions. In 837 career games with the Sabres, which ranks 6th in club history, Andreychuk recorded 368 goals (3rd most in Sabres history), 436 assists (2nd) and 804 points (2nd). He also tallied 38 game-winning goals, nine hat tricks and 804 penalty minutes.
|Dave Andreychuk (Photo: Getty Images) |
Andreychuk was not only one of the most productive scorers in Sabres history, but in league history. He currently ranks 13th all-time in career goals (640) and 29th in points (1,338).
However, his most impressive numbers can be found in his power play totals.
In his first 10-plus seasons in Buffalo, Andreychuk notched double-digit power play goals in nine of them, including 28 during the 1991-92 campaign. The following year, he netted 20 power play goals in 52 games with the Sabres, then added 12 more man-advantage goals in 31 games with Toronto following the mid-season trade. His 32 total power play goals marked the second-highest single-season total in league history. By the time his 23-year career was over, Andreychuk had amassed 274 power play goals to rank as the NHL’s all-time leader in the category. Of those 274 PPGs, 161 came in a Sabres uniform.
The second, and most recent, time that the Sabres held the 16th overall pick in the NHL Entry Draft was in 1995. They also happened to pick 14th that year and used it to select defensemen Jay McKee, who would go on to play nearly 600 games for the team. Two picks later, they selected goaltender Martin Biron out of Beauport of the QMJHL with the 16th overall selection.
|Martin Biron (Photo: AP) |
Biron’s affable and outgoing nature would make him a fan favorite during his tenure in Buffalo, but he also posted quality numbers. In exactly 300 career games with the team over parts of nine seasons, he went 134-115-29 with a 2.53 goals against average, a .909 save percentage and 18 shutouts.
Among all goaltenders to have suited up for the Sabres in their 40-year history, Biron ranks 4th in games played, 4th in wins, 2nd in goals against average (among those to have played at least 100 games) and 3rd in shutouts.
He was dealt to the Flyers at the 2007 trade deadline in exchange for a 2nd round pick, a move that was made during Buffalo’s President’s Trophy-winning season. During that year, the most successful regular season in franchise history, Biron went 12-4-1 with the Sabres before being traded. Since then, he has enjoyed stints with the Flyers, Islanders and Rangers, compiling a record of 82-67-20 and surpassing the 200-win milestone during the 2009-10 campaign.
While the first two 16th overall draft choices in Sabres history netted the league’s all-time power play goal scorer and a popular, winning goaltender, they hope to find another player this year who can, like Andreychuk and Biron, find his way into the team’s record books.