We inch even closer to the NHL draft and continue to look at great late round draft picks by the Buffalo Sabres. It's time to take a look at the number 18 biggest draft steal in Buffalo Sabres history.
Matthew Barnaby- 1992 (4th Round, #83 overall)
Matthew Barnaby is still one of the most popular players in the teams history, because of the way he played. Matthew Barnaby always gave everything he had on the ice, he was never accused of coasting through a game. Barnaby was not the most talented player on the ice but he managed to play 834 games with seven different NHL teams.
Barnaby emerged as an NHL player with the Sabres in 1995-1996, playing in 73 games and scoring 15 goals and 16 assists.He followed that up with his best season as a Buffalo Sabres in 1996-1997, scoring 19 goals and 24 assists. The following season was disappointing for him, scoring only five goals and 20 assists while playing in 72 games. He had a storybook run in that years playoffs, scoring seven goals in only 15 games. He also added three power play goals during that years run to the Conference Finals.
He was unable to build off of the great playoff run and after scoring only four goals in 44 games he was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Stu Barnes on March 11, 1999. Barnaby bounced around the league for the next seven seasons before retiring due to injury. He played for the Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Rangers, Colorado Avalanche, Chicago Blackhawks and Dallas Stars after leaving Buffalo. He suffered a concussion on January 9, 2007 against the Phoenix Coyotes and was forced to eventually retire.
Although he was never my favorite player, it is impossible to not respect what Barnaby was able to accomplish. There are players with much more talent that never accomplish what he did in the NHL. All Sabres fans will remember him scoring a hat trick on Mothers Day with his Mom in attendance, these are the type of stories you love to tell about a true Sabres great.