It's time we start talking about some NHL greats in our little countdown we are running. The player I am going to talk about is the best player the Sabres ever drafted in the late rounds but I had to take draft slot into account while doing this feature. He was the first player to electrify crowds at "The Aud" since the French Connection did it in the 70's.
Alexander Mogilny- 1988 (5th round, #89 overall)
Alexander Mogilny put the Buffalo Sabres on the map back in 1989 when he defected from the Soviet Union and started playing for the Buffalo Sabres. Mogilny started out his career in Buffalo with a bang scoring just 20 seconds into his first game, only Danny Gare scored quicker at 18 seconds. The story of Mogilny defecting is an interesting one and it involved members of Sabres management meeting with him in Stockholm, Sweden.
In his time with Buffalo he scored many goals but no season was more exciting than 1992-1993 while playing alongside Pat LaFontaine. Mogilny scored a career high 76 goals and had 127 points another career high. Mogilny played a total of six seasons with the Buffalo Sabres and he scored at least 30 goals four times. His final season with the Sabres was plagued by injury and controversy. He played in only 44 games and scored 19 goals but during the playoffs it was believed that he quit on the team despite scoring three goals in only five playoff games. I think there was a lot more to the story but he was traded in the off-season to Vancouver in return for Mike Peca, Mike Wilson and a 1st round draft pick that turned into Jay McKee.
Mogilny burst on the scene in Vancouver as well, scoring 55 goals in his first season as a Canuck. He played a little over four years in Vancouver and he had a huge decrease in his numbers while a member of the Canucks. He was traded to New Jersey for Brendan Morrison and Dennis Pederson and revived his career. He won the only Stanley Cup of his career the year he was traded and followed that up by scoring 43 goals in 2000-2001, the season the Devils lost to Colorado in seven. He went on and played two good seasons in Toronto before injuries derailed his career, he has not played since 2006 although I don't think he has officially retired.