Stafford with the Sabres in 2012
October 30, 1985 |
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
|Height||6 ft 2 in (188 cm)|
|Weight||202 lb (92 kg; 14 st 6 lb)|
|NHL team||Buffalo Sabres|
|National team||United States|
|NHL Draft||13th overall, 2004
Drew Stafford (born October 30, 1985) is an American ice hockey player. Stafford plays forward for the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League (NHL). He started his professional career with the American Hockey League's Rochester Americans before being called up to the NHL on November 5, 2006.
Stafford was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but grew up in Faribault, Minnesota. His father, Gordie, played professional hockey in the International Hockey League and is the head coach of the girl's hockey team at Shattuck-Saint Mary's in Faribault, Minnesota, where Drew played high-school hockey. His uncle, Barrie Stafford, was the head equipment manager for the Edmonton Oilers for 28 years before retiring in 2012.
Stafford played for the St. Albert Bantam AA Flyers in St. Albert, Alberta in 1999–2000. During this season 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.
Stafford played at Shattuck-Saint Mary's in Faribault, Minnesota for two years and played on the US national team at the 2003 IIHF World U18 Championships. He then played for three seasons at the University of North Dakota and on the US national team at the 2004 and 2005 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships. Following his freshman season, Stafford was drafted 13th overall in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft by the Buffalo Sabres. After two more seasons, he signed a contract with the Sabres in 2006, foregoing his senior season at the University of North Dakota. Stafford finished his three-year collegiate career with 118 points (48 goals, 70 assists).
Stafford 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.
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 his 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 extension with the Sabres.
Awards and honors
|All-WCHA Third Team||2005–06|
- 2004: Gold medal (2004 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships)
- 2006–07: Played in the AHL All-Star Classic for Planet USA
Regular season and playoffs
|2003–04||University of North Dakota||WCHA||36||11||21||32||30||—||—||—||—||—|
|2004–05||University of North Dakota||WCHA||40||13||22||35||34||—||—||—||—||—|
|2005–06||University of North Dakota||WCHA||41||24||23||47||63||—||—||—||—||—|
|Competitor for the United States|
|World Junior Championships|
|Junior int'l totals||19||8||8||16||24|
|Senior int'l totals||23||3||5||8||12|
- "Shattuck St. Mary's Hockey Staff". Retrieved February 10, 2013.
- "Oilers Long-Time Equipment Manager Barrie Stafford Honoured by Hockey Legends". Retrieved February 10, 2013.
- James O'Brien. "Buffalo Sabres sign Drew Stafford to four-year, $16M contract extension". NBC Sports. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
- Stephen Sickles. "Multi-talented: Getting to know the real Drew Stafford". Let's Go Sabres. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
- Drew Stafford's career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database
- Drew Stafford at Hockey-Reference.com
|Buffalo Sabres first round draft pick