February 3, 1982 |
Fargo, ND, USA
|Height||6 ft 5 in (196 cm)|
|Weight||223 lb (101 kg; 15 st 13 lb)|
|National team||United States|
|NHL Draft||220th overall, 2000
Gaustad was drafted in the 7th round (220th overall) by the Buffalo Sabres in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft. In the off-season Paul lives in Portland, Oregon. He also played for the Portland Winter Hawks of the WHL.
Prior to joining Portland in 1999–2000, Gaustad was a Portland Jr. Hawk. Afterward, Gaustad started playing for a Tier II team in Burnaby, B.C. of the BCJHL. In his three seasons with the Winter Hawks, Gaustad registered 135 points (53–82–135) before making his professional debut with the Sabres AHL affiliate in Rochester in 2002–03. Upon his arrival in Rochester, the Fargo native registered 53 points (14–39–53) in 80 games while seeing his first action with the parent club.
In 2005, he secured a starting position with the Buffalo Sabres, where he played mostly as 4th line center, and played the power forward/enforcer role, along with teammates Adam Mair and Andrew Peters. Gaustad, who had worn the number 14 in Rochester, had to double his number to 28 in Buffalo, due to 14 being retired in honor of Rene Robert.
On February 7, 2007, in a game against the Ottawa Senators, his leg was cut and his tendon was sliced in a collision with Dany Heatley, an injury which at the time was thought to have ended his season; and later it was revealed that it could have potentially ended his career had it been an inch deeper. However, he did recover ahead of schedule and joined the Sabres in their post-season on May 4, 2007, for Game 5 against the New York Rangers at home in Buffalo.
After a productive campaign during the 2007-08 season in which he registered a solid 36 points while mainly on the third and fourth lines, Gaustad was re-signed by the Sabres to a 4-year contract extension worth $9.2 million on the eve of free agency.
On the ice, Gaustad is known for his teamwork and gritty play making him a popular favorite among fans. He is often in front of the net using his 6'5 frame to screen goaltenders and deflect goals. Because of this ability, he typically plays a unit on the powerplay.
At the 2012 trade deadline, Gaustad and a 2013 fourth round draft pick were sent to the Nashville Predators for a 2012 first round draft pick on February 27, 2012 
Regular season and playoffs
|1999–00||Portland Winter Hawks||WHL||56||6||8||14||110||—||—||—||—||—|
|2000–01||Portland Winter Hawks||WHL||70||11||30||41||168||16||10||6||16||59|
|2001–02||Portland Winter Hawks||WHL||72||36||44||80||202||6||3||1||4||16|