Drew Stafford

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Drew Stafford
Drew Stafford Sabres 2012-02-19.JPG
Stafford with the Sabres in 2012
Born (1985-10-30) October 30, 1985 (age 29)
Milwaukee, WI, USA
Height 6 ft 2 in (188 cm)
Weight 202 lb (92 kg; 14 st 6 lb)
Position Right wing
Shoots Right
NHL team
Former teams
Winnipeg Jets
Buffalo Sabres
National team  United States
NHL Draft 13th overall, 2004
Buffalo Sabres
Playing career 2006–present

Drew Stafford (born October 30, 1985) is an American professional ice hockey right winger currently playing for the Winnipeg Jets of the National Hockey League (NHL). He started his professional career with the American Hockey League (AHL)'s Rochester Americans before being called up to the NHL on November 5, 2006, with the Buffalo Sabres, the team that drafted him in the first round, 13th overall, at 2004 NHL Entry Draft. He played nine seasons with Buffalo before being traded to the Winnipeg Jets in on February 11, 2015.

Early life[edit]

Stafford was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but grew up in Faribault, Minnesota. His father, Gordie, played professional hockey in the International Hockey League (IHL) and is the head coach of the girl's hockey team at Shattuck-Saint Mary's in Faribault, where Drew also played high school hockey.[1] Stafford's uncle, Barrie Stafford, was the head equipment manager for the Edmonton Oilers for 28 years before retiring in 2012.[2]

Playing career[edit]

Minor/Collegiate[edit]

Stafford played for the St. Albert Bantam AA Flyers in St. Albert, Alberta, in 1999–2000. During the season, he finished third in League scoring with 26 goals and 47 points in 30 games while leading 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 professional 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 and 70 assists).

Professional[edit]

Stafford skating with teammate Jordan Leopold in 2011

Stafford began his professional career with Buffalo's American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Rochester Americans. With nine points in the first 11 games of the season, he caught the attention of 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 Daniel Brière, earning 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 in the Sabres' lineup during the 2007–08 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 against the Tampa Bay Lightning, and his sixth on February 13, 2011, against the New York Islanders. On June 3, 2011, Stafford signed a four-year, $16 million contract extension with the Sabres.[3]

In his ninth season with the Sabres in 2014–15, on February 11, 2015, Stafford was traded alongside Tyler Myers, Brendan Lemieux, Joel Armia and a first-round draft pick to the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for Evander Kane, Zach Bogosian and the rights to goaltending prospect Jason Kasdorf.[4] On February 14, 2015, in just his second game on the Jets, Stafford scored a goal in regulation, as well as the shootout winner, in a 5–4 shootout victory over the Detroit Red Wings. On the eve of free-agency Stafford re-signed to a two-year contract to remain in Winnipeg on June 30, 2015.[5]

Personal Life[edit]

Stafford's father, Gord Stafford, played professional hockey with the Milwaukee Admirals and Wichita Wind during the 1980s.[6] Stafford formed a band called Red Seal Peach while at the University of North Dakota with goaltender Jordan Parise.[7] Stafford appears in the Every Time I Die video for "Decayin with the Boys," playing jenga at a party in full hockey uniform.[8]

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
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
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
2011–12 Buffalo Sabres NHL 80 20 30 50 46
2012–13 Buffalo Sabres NHL 46 6 12 18 21
2013–14 Buffalo Sabres NHL 70 16 18 34 39
2014–15 Buffalo Sabres NHL 50 9 15 24 39
2014–15 Winnipeg Jets NHL 26 9 10 19 8 4 1 1 2 0
NHL totals 589 154 187 341 335 24 4 5 9 6

International[edit]

Medal record
ice hockey
Competitor for the  United States
World Junior Championships
Gold medal – first place 2004 Helsinki
Year Team Event Result GP G A Pts PIM
2003 United States WJC18 4th 6 3 2 5 8
2004 United States WJC 1st 6 0 2 2 2
2005 United States WJC 4th 7 5 4 9 14
2006 United States WC 7th 7 0 1 1 0
2008 United States WC 6th 7 1 3 4 6
2009 United States WC 4th 9 2 1 3 6
Junior totals 19 8 8 16 24
Senior totals 23 3 5 8 12

Awards and honors[edit]

Award Year
All-WCHA Third Team 2005–06
AHL All-Star Classic 2006–07

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Shattuck St. Mary's Hockey Staff". Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Oilers Long-Time Equipment Manager Barrie Stafford Honoured by Hockey Legends". Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  3. ^ James O'Brien. "Buffalo Sabres sign Drew Stafford to four-year, $16M contract extension". NBC Sports. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Kane, Bogosian dealt to Sabres in eight-player blockbuster deal". TSN. February 11, 2015. Retrieved February 11, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Jets agree to terms with Drew Stafford". Winnipeg Jets. 2015-06-30. Retrieved 2015-06-30. 
  6. ^ "Gord Stafford". Elite Prospects. Retrieved 27 August 2014. 
  7. ^ Stephen Sickles. "Multi-talented: Getting to know the real Drew Stafford". Let's Go Sabres. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Decavin with the Boys". YouTube. 2013-05-06. Retrieved 2014-06-17. 

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Thomas Vanek
Buffalo Sabres first round draft pick
2004
Succeeded by
Marek Zagrapan