Top 50 Buffalo Sabres

The Buffalo Sabres came into the NHL as part of the league’s expansion from 12 to 14 in 1970, and they quickly proved their worth.

On the strength of the "French Connection" line (Gilbert Perreault, Rick Martin, and Rene Robert), the Sabres made it to the 1975 Stanley Cup Finals, though lost to Philadelphia.  Buffalo remained a good, though not necessarily great squad for years, and upon the emergence of Czech Goalie Dominic Hasek, made it to the Finals again in 1999, though a controversial call cost them the Cup against Dallas.

The Sabres have not been to the Finals since.

This list is up to the end of the 2021/22 season.

Note: Hockey lists are based on an amalgamation of tenure, traditional statistics, advanced statistics, playoff statistics, and post-season accolades.

In 2015, Jack Eichel became the second freshman to win the Hobey Baker Award as the most outstanding player in college hockey when he was tearing it up at Boston University.  Eichel was projected to go number two in that year’s draft, which he did behind Connor McDavid.
After playing a minor role for the New York Rangers and Detroit Red Wings, the Buffalo Sabres acquired Don Luce, who found a role with his defensive skills from the Center position.
A late Second Round Pick in 2001, Jason Pominville made the Sabres roster in 2005, where he would rise in the ranks to become one of Buffalo’s top forwards.
Taken early in the Second Round of the 2001 Draft, Derek Roy had a streaky career in the minors, which prevented him from becoming a fixture in the Sabres until the 2005-06 season, where he had 46 Points.  Roy came into his own afterward, scoring at least 60 Points in four…
After 37 games with the Vancouver Canucks, Mike Peca was traded to the Buffalo Sabres as part of the deal that sent Alexander Mogilny the other way.
Mike Foligno was the runner-up for the 1980 Calder to Ray Bourque, but two years later, he was traded to the Buffalo Sabres from Detroit, and he brought his signature “Foligno Leap” with him.
Bob Sauve was drafted in the First Round of the 1975 Draft by the Buffalo Sabres, who also took another Goalie, Don Edwards, in that year's selection process.  After playing mostly in the minors for three years, Sauve made the main roster for good in 1978-79.
Doug Bodger was a 16-year veteran of the NHL, whose second team was the Buffalo Sabres, who acquired him in the transaction that sent Goalie Tom Barrasso to Pittsburgh.
Before Jocelyn Guevremont became a Sabre, he was an All-Star with the Vancouver Canucks and was on Team Canada for their 1972 Summit Series win.  The Defenseman might not have been an All-Star with the Sabres, but he arguably had his best NHL years in Western New York.
Richard Smehlik had a good first two seasons in the National Hockey League, where the Czech blueliner scored 72 Points.  A knee injury took him out of half of the 1994-95 season and the entire 1995-96 season, but he returned, albeit with less of an offensive touch.
Rob Ray was not expected to score much.  What he was asked to do was to use his fists and his intimidation to allow his teammates a clear path to light the lamp.
Beginning his NHL career with the Montreal Canadiens, John Van Boxmeer was exiled to the then-hockey wasteland of the Colorado Rockies.  A reprieve came for Van Boxmeer when he was traded before the 1979-80 Season for Rene Robert, and the Defenseman became a Buffalo Sabre, which is where he had the…
The Buffalo Sabres got great value out of their Ninth Round Pick of the 1989 Draft, Donald Audette, whose grit not only earned him onto the parent club but a spot for years as mid-line Right Wing.
From Russia, Maxim Afinogenov proved to be a pretty sweet choice for the Buffalo Sabres, who grabbed him in the Third Round in 1997.
Drew Stafford was a star at the University of North Dakota, and he left early to join the Buffalo Sabres, the team that took him 13th Overall in 2004.
A pair of Second Round picks brought Germany’s Jordan Hecht to the Buffalo Sabres, and for ten seasons (2002-03 to 2012-13), he provided clean and solid two-way hockey.
One of the best values of the 1997 Draft was Brian Campbell, a Defenseman who the Buffalo Sabres took in the Sixth Round.
The New York Islanders took Tim Connolly, an American-born Center with the Fifth Overall Pick, in 1999.  Two years later, at the 2001 Draft, he was traded within the state to Buffalo for Michael Peca, and like the person he was traded for, injuries would come to define his career.
In the 2013 Draft, Rasmus Ristolainen was a highly coveted prospect from Finland, and the Sabres agreed, as they captured him with the number eight pick.