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Buffalo Sabres Draft Steal #15

Today we had back in the past after recognizing a current Sabre (Paul Gaustad) yesterday.  We are just over two weeks away from the draft now and as we near closer the players being featured will have had an even bigger impact on the team.

Derek Smith- 1974 (10th round, 168 overall)

The Buffalo Sabres took a chance on Derek Smith after he played two outstanding seasons with the Ottawa 67's of the Ontario Hockey League.  He scored 99 goals and had 91 assists in 132 games during his final two seasons of Junior Hockey.  He didn't have an immediate impact on the Sabres lineup and spent some time playing for the Hershey Bears in the AHL.  He struggled as a rookie but in his second season with Hershey he scored 28 goals and had 30 assists in 67 games played.  He followed that up with an even better season scoring 31 goals and 31 assists in 65 games.

In 1978-1979 he finally cracked the Sabres lineup and he had 14 goals and 12 assists in only 43 games played that season.  He followed up his rookie season with two more solid years scoring 24 goals in 1979-1980 and 21 goals in 1980-1981.  Unfortunately his career to a downward swing after that season, he had only three goals in 12 games when he was included in the trade that sent Danny Gare and Jim Schoenfeld to the Detroit Red Wings for Mike Foligno and Dale McCourt.

Smith finished that season by scoring six goals in 49 games with the Red Wings.  he played one more NHL season with Detroit and he scored only seven goals in 49 games played.  He finished his career in the minors with the Adirondack Red Wings and he eventually retired after the 1983-1984 season.