9. Alexander Mogilny

9. Alexander Mogilny

In the late 1980s, the probability of Soviet hockey players became more and more likely.  The Buffalo Sabres got in on that, taking up and coming Alexander Mogilny 89th Overall in 1988.  A year later, after participating in the World Hockey Championship in Stockholm, he defected to the United States and joined the Sabres.

Mogilny had 43 Points as a 20-year-old rookie, which he increased to 64 and 94 over the next two seasons.  The Left Wing was progressing nicely, but what transpired afterward was one of the best offensive seasons in franchise history.  

It was not a coincidence that Mogilny’s monster year was the same as Pat LaFontaine’s 148 Point year.  The two were on the same line, and Mogilny lit the lamp 76 times, a franchise record.  Mogilny led the NHL in that metric, as well as in Game-Winning Goals with 11.  Named a Second Team All-Star that year, Mogilny slipped to 79 Points and then 47, although, in both years, he still averaged over a Point per Game.

The Sabres traded Mogilny, who was at that time, a three-time All-Star, to the Vancouver Canucks in a cost-cutting move, and his Sabres career concluded.  He scored 444 Points in 381 Games as a Sabre for a 1.17 PPG.

The Sabres inducted him into their Hall of Fame in 2011.

The Bullet Points

  • Position: Left Wing
  • Acquired: Selected in the 5th Round, 89th Overall in the NHL Draft 6/11/88.
  • Departed: Traded to the Vancouver Canucks with Buffalo’s 1995 5th Round Pick (which would be Todd Norman) for Michael Peca, Mike Wilson, and Vancouver's 1995 1st Round Pick (which would be Jay McKee) 7/8/95.
  • Games Played: 381
  • Notable Statistics:

    211 Goals
    233 Assists 
    444 Points 
    203 PIM 
    1.17 PPG 
    +44 Plus/Minus 
    44.5 Point Shares 
    30 Points in 31 Playoff Games

  • Major Accolades and Awards:

    Second Team All-Star (1993)
    All-Star Game (1992, 1993 & 1994)
    Most Goals (1992-93)
    Most Game-Winning Goals (1992-93)

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