Top 10 Best Buffalo Sabres Players of All Time

Top 10 Best Buffalo Sabres Players of All Time

Although the Sabres have never managed to secure a Stanley Cup, this hockey team based in Buffalo, New York, is one of the most classic and well-followed teams in the NHL. Established in 1970, the Sabres have made the playoffs 29 times. Despite the ups and downs the franchise has seen, some of the best hockey players in history have worn Sabres jerseys. Listed below are the best Sabres players of all time.

Who Are the Best Buffalo Sabres Hockey Players of All Time?

  1. Gilbert Perreault
  2. Dominik Hasek
  3. Rick Martin
  4. Phil Housley
  5. Pat Lafontaine
  6. Alexander Mogilny
  7. Dave Andreychuk
  8. Ryan Miller
  9. Thomas Vanek
  10. Danny Gare

1. Gilbert Perreault

  • First player ever drafted to the Sabres
  • Nine-time All-Star
  • Hockey Hall of Famer

Gilbert Perreault played 17 fantastic seasons of professional hockey, all of them in Buffalo, New York. His 512 career goals make him the best scorer in Sabres history, by a long shot, and place him at 43 on NHL’s all-time list. Perreault has also scored the most career assists and points of any Sabres player, at 814 and 1326. Perreault played some of his best hockey in the postseason, coming in clutch with 103 career playoff points. 

In his fifth year in the NHL, Perreault scored 113 points, his record for the duration of his career. Gilbert Perreault was the first ever pick for the Buffalo Sabres, selected in the 1970 NHL Draft, the first year the Sabres joined the league. He was a nine-time All-Star and is unsurprisingly featured in the Hockey Hall of Fame in Ontario, Canada.

2. Dominik Hasek

  • Six-time Vezina Trophy winner
  • Two-time Hart Trophy winner
  • Two-time Lester Pearson Trophy winner

Dominik Hasek was indisputably the best goalie in Sabres history, possibly in the runnings for best goalie in all of NHL history. Hasek’s professional hockey career stretched from 1990 to 2008. Most of these seasons were spent with the Buffalo Sabres, although he began as a Chicago Blackhawk, from 1990-1992, and ended as a Detroit Red Wing, from his 2001 to 2008 seasons. Hasek’s most famous game by far came in a quadruple overtime match, where he shut out New Jersey with 70 saves. 

Over the course of Hasek’s career, he collected an astonishing amount of trophies: two William Jennings, two Harts, two Lester Pearson, and six Vezinas. Hasek more than earned his place in the Hockey Hall of Fame, placing 6th on the NHL list of most ever shutouts with 81, and 11th on the all time list of most wins with 389.

3. Rick Martin

  • 1971 5th overall draft pick
  • Six-time All-Star
  • Sabres Hall of Famer

Drafted fifth overall in 1971, Martin began his professional hockey career with ten phenomenal seasons playing for the Buffalo Sabres. Martin played left wing with tenacity, quickly becoming both known and feared for his scoring abilities. He played for one of the greatest Sabres teams in franchise history, the team assembled in the first few years after Buffalo joined the NHL, with teammates Gilbert Perreault and Rene Robert. 

Martin’s 382 career goals are the second most in Sabres history. Impressively, he scored 44 of these his rookie season, on top of 74 of his total 701 career points. Martin played two seasons with the Los Angeles Kings before his retirement in 1982, both a head and cartilage injury making it difficult for him to continue performing at the professional level.

4. Phil Housley

  • 1982 6th overall draft pick
  • Three-time All-Star as a Buffalo Sabre
  • Most career points for a Sabres defenseman

One of the most impressive defensemen to ever play the game, Phil Housley scored 1,232 career points, the franchise record for his position. Almost half of these, 558, were scored in Buffalo. Housley’s career began as the 6th overall draft pick, selected by the Buffalo Sabres in 1982.

Housley started his career in Buffalo out strong, earning a spot on the NHL’s All Rookie Team with 66 points and 19 goals. His second season, Housley made his first All-Star appearance of seven, three of which were during his career with Buffalo. Though a defenseman, Housley created scoring opportunities left and right for the Sabres offense, he holds the 4th spot on the Sabres all-time record list of assists at 380. In 2007, Housley was inducted into the Sabres Hall of Fame. Ten years later, in 2017, he was elected to join the Hockey Hall of Fame.

5. Pat LaFontaine

  • Hockey Hall of Famer
  • Five-time All-Star
  • Score 385 points in 268 games as a Sabre

Pat LaFontaine is the best center to ever play for the Sabres. In his 1992-1993 season with the Sabres, LaFontaine scored 148 points, a career best and the most in NHL history for an American-born player. LaFontaine was not a long-time Sabre, only playing six seasons and 268 total games in Buffalo. However, in those 268 games he managed to produce 385 astonishing points.

LaFontaine played the center position, and over the course of his career collected 468 goals and amassed 1,013 points. LaFontaine spent most of his career as a New York Islander, from his drafting in 1983 until he joined Buffalo in 1991. After six seasons in Buffalo, LaFontaine concluded his career with the 1997-1998 season as a New York Ranger. The Buffalo Sabres retired LaFontaine’s number 16 jersey in 2006.

6. Alexander Mogilny

  • Six-time All-Star
  • Buffalo Sabres Hall of Famer
  • Named best forward in 1988 World Junior Championships

Alexander Mogilny was drafted by the Buffalo Sabres in 1989, the year after he won best forward in the World Junior Hockey Championships. Russian Mogilny had a great career ahead of him, especially playing alongside another Sabre great, Pat LaFontaine. LaFontaine’s best offensive season (1992-1993) lined up perfectly with Mogilny’s, LaFontaine bringing in 148 points and Mogilny 127, plus a career high of 76 goals. The Mogilny/LaFontaine duo stands as one of the best and most well-remembered Sabre pairs of all time.

Mogilny only spent six seasons as a Buffalo Sabre, but he was an All-Star three of these years. Mogilny went on to play for the Vancouver Canucks, New Jersey Devils, and Toronto Maple Leafs, retiring in 2006 with six total All-Star games. By the end of his professional hockey career in the NHL Mogilny had scored 1,032 career points and accumulated 559 total assists.

7. Dave Andreychuk

  • Third most goals in Sabres history
  • One of two Sabres to score over 50 goals in a season twice
  • Most power play goals in Sabres history, 161

A 23-season NHL left winger, Dave Andreychuk began his career in 1982 with a 10-year stretch with the Buffalo Sabres. He later returned to Buffalo for two more seasons, in 1992-93 and 2000-2001. Andreychuk was nothing short of a phenomenal scorer, his 368 Sabre goals make him the third best in Buffalo hockey history. Andreychuk added to this total after leaving Buffalo, ending with 640 goals and 1,338 points. 

Andreychuk is one of very few players to score over 50 goals in a season on two separate occasions, he completed this feat between the seasons stretching across 1992 and 1994. After leaving Buffalo, Andreychuk played for many different NHL teams, most notably the Tampa Bay Lightning, where he earned two Stanley Cups. In 2017, Dave Andreychuk was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

8. Ryan Miller

  • Vezina Trophy 2009-2010 season
  • 14th most wins in NHL goalie history (391)
  • 2007 All-Star

Ryan Miller played 22 seasons in the NHL, but his most successful years were from 2002-2014 keeping the Sabres’ goal. Miller entered the draft after an NCAA career with Michigan State, where he was recognized as the best college goalkeeper on two occasions. In the fifth round of the 2002 NHL Draft, the Buffalo Sabres selected Miller. From 2005-2012, Miller collected over 30 wins each season with the Sabres, peaking at 41 in the 2009-2010 season. This season is widely considered Miller’s best, as he claimed the Vezina Trophy, awarded annually to the best goalie in the NHL, in 2010. 

By the end of Ryan Miller’s career, he had risen to the 14th spot on the NHL all-time record list for wins, retiring with 391 career wins. Miller retired after a stellar career, playing his final season in 2021 with the Anaheim Ducks. Hockey Hall of Fame talks are already bubbling for this great Sabres goalie.

9. Thomas Vanek

  • 2003 5th overall draft pick
  • Scored 48 goals his rookie season
  • 5th best scorer in Buffalo Sabres history, 254 goals

Left wing Thomas Vanek is one of the most recent great Sabres, retiring in 2019. Vanek came into the Buffalo Sabre franchise hot, scoring 48 goals his very first season. In fact, he continued to score over 20 goals for eight straight seasons with the Sabres. By the end of his first eight years in the NHL, Vanek had already accumulated 488 points. By the end of his time with the Sabres, he had scored 254 goals in Buffalo, and risen to the fifth spot of all-time goals in franchise history.

Vanek played nine total seasons in Buffalo, before moving on to play for seven more NHL teams including the New York Islanders, Detroit Red Wings, Minnesota Wild, and more. Each of these teams only got a season or two out of Vanek, though, making Buffalo his longest stint by far with a single team. By the end of Vanek’s career he had scored 789 points and 373 goals.

10. Danny Gare

  • Fourth most goals as a Buffalo Sabre
  • 1977-1981 Sabres’ team captain
  • Number 18 jersey retired by the Sabres in 2005

Danny Gare played in Buffalo from 1974-1982, serving as team captain for four of those seasons. A phenomenal scorer, Gare ranks fourth for most Sabre goals, with 267 scored during his time wearing Sabre blue and yellow. Over the course of his career, Gare averaged 46 assists and 17 goals a season. 

Gare totaled 331 career assists, 685 career points, and 354 total goals. Danny Gare left Buffalo during the 1981-1982 season to play five seasons with the Detroit Red Wings and a final season with the Edmonton Oilers before retiring in 1987. Gare’s number 18 jersey was retired by the Sabres in 2005.

Honorable Mentions

  • Chris Drury
  • Craig Ramsay
  • Dale Hawerchuk
  • Daniel Briere
  • Don Edwards
  • Jim Schoenfeld
  • Mike Foligno
  • Mike Ramsey
  • Pierre Turgeon
  • Rene Robert


Who is the best Buffalo Sabres goalie of all time?

Dominik Hasek is the best Buffalo Sabre goalie of all time and has won more awards than any other Sabre. Hasek is in the Hockey Hall of Fame, places sixth on the NHL record list of most ever shut outs (81), and places 15th on the NHL record list of most wins (389). Throughout his long career (1990-2008), Hasek collected two William Jennings Awards, two Hart Trophies, two Lester Pearson Trophies, and six Vezina Trophies.

Who is the best Buffalo Sabres forward of all time?

Gilbert Perreault, the Buffalo Sabres’ first ever draft pick in 1970, was the best Buffalo Sabre forward of all time. This Hall of Famer played in nine All-Star games and was the leading man of a trio referred to as the “French Connection,” making up one of the greatest Sabre offenses in franchise history. Perreault played his entire career in Buffalo, placing 43rd on the NHL record list of most career goals with 512. Perreault holds the Sabre records of goals (512), points (1326), and assists (814), securing his place as the best offensive player to wear the Sabre uniform.

Who is the best Buffalo Sabres defensemen of all time?

Phil Housley is the best defenseman to ever play for the Buffalo Sabres. This three-time All-Star was selected 6th overall in the 1982 NHL draft. To the surprise of many, Housley would go on to score the most career points of any NHL defenseman, with 1,232. 558 of the points were scored in Buffalo, before Housley moved on to other NHL organizations, including the Chicago Blackhawks where he won the 1992 and 1993 Stanley Cups. In 2017, Housley was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in Ontario, Canada.