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Young Star Shines Bright

Monday, 04.02.2007 / 12:00 AM / News
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Young Star Shines Bright

April 2, 2007
By Glenn Odebralski

All Drew Stafford wanted was an opportunity to show that he belonged in the NHL. Stafford did more than just accept his latest opportunity; he took off and ran with it.

The rookie from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has shined for the Buffalo Sabres the past month, netting nine goals and adding four assists in 15 games.

He has also scored two game-winners, both with Buffalo facing their archrivals, the Toronto Maple Leafs. For his efforts, he has been named NHL Rookie of the Month for March.

"It's an honor to be recognized for that," said Stafford about the award. "It's a pretty big deal, but I'm just glad I've been given an opportunity to be a part of the guys here."

"We said that in the absence of a lot of key players, there's been some young guys that have stepped up," said head coach Lindy Ruff. "And in Drew's case, he had a tremendous month for us. I thought it was well deserved."

When Buffalo was hit with a multitude of injuries in the middle of the season, Stafford was finally given an extended opportunity to show the Sabres and the league that he was ready to be an NHL player.

He was called up five times this season before finally landing a concrete role, playing on a line with center Derek Roy and left wing Thomas Vanek.

"I had expectations for myself to at least get a chance to play up here," said Stafford. "Being a first-year guy, I was just trying to make an impression in Rochester if I could.

"They gave me an opportunity to come up here so I was very grateful for that. I just tried to take advantage of it and enjoy the moment."

Although Stafford received the award, he is quick to recognize his teammates for his own personal success.

"Playing with Vanek and Roy makes things a little easier out there for me," said Stafford. "I have to give them all the credit for helping me out when I'm having trouble."

And hopefully his production and his improvement can be a continuing trend.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Hodgson 72 20 24 -26 44
T. Ennis 80 21 22 -25 43
D. Stafford 70 16 18 -19 34
C. Ehrhoff 79 6 27 -27 33
C. Stewart 63 15 11 0 26
C. Conacher 79 7 19 1 26
T. Myers 62 9 13 -26 22
Z. Girgensons 70 8 14 -6 22
M. Foligno 74 7 12 -17 19
J. McBain 69 6 11 -13 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Neuvirth 4 8 2 .921 2.78
J. Enroth 4 17 5 .911 2.82