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Several current Sabres began their professional hockey careers with the Rochester Americans, building the foundation of a successful future at The Blue Cross Arena.  Even Buffalo’s longtime Head Coach, Lindy Ruff, spent time donning the Red, White and Blue, though his time in Rochester came during the final years of his successful playing career. 

While a new crop of players will now have the chance to begin their journeys to the NHL in Rochester, here’s a look at the current members of the Sabres who spent time with the Amerks:

Ryan Miller (2002-03 to 2005-06)
Games Played: 172
Record: 92-61-16
Goals Against Average: 2.34
Save Percentage: .922
Shutouts: 15
Won 2004-05 Aldege “Baz” Bastien Award as AHL’s top goalie
Named 2004-05 AHL First Team All-Star
Played in 2004 and 2005 AHL All-Star Classic
Named Amerks Rookie of the Year in 2002-03

Jason Pominville (2002-03 to 2005-06)
Games Played: 235
Goals: 96
Assists: 96
Points: 192
Tied an Amerks franchise record by scoring five goals in one game (Oct. 21, 2005)
Named a starter in the 2004 AHL All-Star Classic (missed game due to injury)
Scored 19 goals in 18 games to start 2005-06 season before being recalled to Buffalo for good

Derek Roy (2003-04 to 2005-06)
Games Played: 101
Goals: 33
Assists: 74
Points: 107
Named to Canadian roster for 2004 AHL All-Star Classic
Averaged more than a point per game in his AHL career (reg. season and playoffs combined)
Scored 20 points in first eight games of 2005-06 season before being recalled to Buffalo for good

Thomas Vanek (2004-05)
Games Played: 74
Goals: 42
Assists: 26
Points: 68
Named to the 2004-05 AHL All-Rookie Team
Tied the franchise record for goals by a rookie
Led AHL in power play goals (25) and ranked 2nd overall in goals (42) in his only AHL season

Paul Gaustad (2002-03 to 2004-05)
Games Played: 234
Goals: 41
Assists: 86
Points: 127
Named the Amerks’ Unsung Hero and Most Improved Player in 2002-03
Recorded 24 points in 28 career AHL Playoff games

Drew Stafford (2006-07)
Games Played: 34
Goals:  22
Assists: 22
Points: 44
Played in the 2007 AHL All-Star Classic
Scored 44 points in just 34 games in his only NHL season, earning nine recalls to Buffalo during the season

Patrick Kaleta (2006-07 to 2007-08)
Games Played: 87
Goals: 6
Assists: 13
Points: 19
Racked up 242 penalty minutes in parts of just two AHL seasons
Earned multiple recalls to Buffalo during each of his two runs in Rochester

Andrej Sekera (2006-07 to 2007-08)
Games Played: 94
Goals: 5
Assists: 31
Points: 36
Recorded 3-16-19 and a +14 rating in 54 games during his first season of professional hockey (2006-07)
Earned recalls to Buffalo during each of his two seasons in Rochester

Mike Weber (2007-08)
Games Played: 59
Goals: 1
Assists: 13
Points: 14
Combined with Andrej Sekera to form a top defensive pairing for the Amerks in 2007-08
Recalled to Buffalo on multiple occasions

Marc-Andre Gragnani (2007-08)
Games Played: 78
Goals: 14
Assists: 38
Points: 52
Ranked 2nd on the Amerks in scoring and 3rd among all AHL defenseman
Led the Amerks in assists

1/23/2019 7:05 PM / Rochester, NY
Binghamton Devils vs. Rochester Americans