Drew Stafford
Drew Stafford 2
Stafford while with the Buffalo Sabres
Position Right wing
Shoots Right
6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
202 lb (92 kg)
NHL Team Buffalo Sabres
Born October 30 1985 (1985-10-30) (age 33),
Milwaukee, WI, USA
NHL Draft 13th overall, 2004
Buffalo Sabres
Pro Career 2006 – present

Drew Stafford (born October 30, 1985) is an American ice hockey forward, an alternate captain for the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League (NHL). He started playing hockey at an early age and played for the Waukesha Warhawks in Waukesha, Wisconsin, playing with local area legends Todd Rose and Damian Carrasco-Zanini. He then went on to play for the American Hockey League's Rochester Americans before being called up to the National Hockey League to play for the Buffalo Sabres on November 5, 2006.

Stafford is the nephew of the Edmonton Oilers head equipment manager Barrie Stafford. His Father, Gordie, had also played professional hockey in the International Hockey League.

Playing careerEdit

Stafford spent one year in St. Albert, Alberta, playing for the St. Albert Bantam AA Flyers. During this season (1999–2000) he finished 3rd in league scoring with 26 goals and 47 points in 30 league games, and led his team to a provincial berth. At the conclusion of the season Stafford was selected to participate in Hockey Alberta's elite development program as a member of the Northwest Sharks in the 2000 Pioneer Chrysler Alberta Cup.

Prior to playing at North Dakota, Stafford played minor hockey at Shattuck-Saint Mary's in Faribault, Minnesota. Following his stint at Shattuck he took another step forward in his hockey career, playing three seasons with the North Dakota Fighting Sioux. Following his freshman season, Stafford was drafted in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft 13th overall by the Buffalo Sabres. After two more seasons, he signed a contract with the Sabres in 2006 for his impressive play at both the WCHA and international level, foregoing his senior season at the University of North Dakota. Stafford finished his three-year collegiate career with an impressive 118 points (48 goals, 70 assists).

Stafford formed a band called "Red Seal Peach" while at UND with former Lowell Devils goaltender, Jordan Parise.

He started his professional career with Buffalo's AHL affiliate, the Rochester Americans. With nine points in the first eleven games of the season, he caught the attention of the Sabres' management, and was called up to Buffalo in early November to replace injured winger Maxim Afinogenov. In his NHL debut on November 5 against the New York Rangers, Stafford assisted on a game-winning overtime goal by Danny Brière, receiving his first NHL point. On November 11, he scored his first goal in the NHL on the Philadelphia Flyers' Antero Niittymäki. He won NHL Rookie of the Month honors for March 2007 despite the fact that Paul Stastny of the Colorado Avalanche had his record breaking rookie scoring streak in the same month. Stafford scored his first game-winning goal on February 27 against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Leopold and Stafford

Stafford skating with teammate Jordan Leopold in 2011

Stafford became a regular to the Sabres lineup in the 2007–2008 season, scoring his first career hat trick against the Atlanta Thrashers on January 18, 2008. More than a year later he went on to score his second hat trick in a 10-2 rout of the Edmonton Oilers on January 27, 2009. A little less than a year after that, he celebrated this third hat trick on December 15, 2010 against the Boston Bruins. He added his fourth, also against Boston, on January 1, 2011, his fifth on February 8, 2011 versus the Tampa Bay Lightning, and his sixth on February 13, 2011 against the New York Islanders.

On June 3, 2011, Stafford signed a 4 year, $16 million dollar extension with the Sabres.


Career statisticsEdit

Regular season and playoffsEdit

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2003–04 North Dakota Fighting Sioux WCHA 36 11 21 32 30
2004–05 North Dakota Fighting Sioux WCHA 40 13 22 35 34
2005–06 North Dakota Fighting Sioux WCHA 41 24 23 47 63
2006–07 Rochester Americans AHL 34 22 22 44 30
2006–07 Buffalo Sabres NHL 41 13 14 27 33 10 2 2 4 4
2007–08 Buffalo Sabres NHL 64 16 22 38 51
2008–09 Buffalo Sabres NHL 79 20 25 45 29
2009–10 Buffalo Sabres NHL 71 14 20 34 35 3 0 0 0 0
2010–11 Buffalo Sabres NHL 62 31 21 52 34 7 1 2 3 2
NHL totals 317 94 102 196 182 20 3 4 7 6


Medal record
ice hockey
Competitor for the Flag of the United States United States
World Junior Championships
Gold 2004 Helsinki
Year Team Comp GP G A Pts PIM
2003 United States WJC18 6 3 2 5 8
2004 United States WJC 6 0 2 2 2
2005 United States WJC 7 5 4 9 14
2006 United States WC 7 0 1 1 0
2008 United States WC 7 1 3 4 6
2009 United States WC 9 2 1 3 6
Junior int'l totals 19 8 8 16 24
Senior int'l totals 23 3 5 8 12


External linksEdit

Preceded by
Thomas Vanek
Buffalo Sabres first round draft pick
Succeeded by
Marek Zagrapan

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