By Budd Bailey
Dave Andreychuk of the Sabres
Taken in Round 1 in 1982
The next pick: Murray Craven was drafted by Detroit at No. 17, but didn’t stay long. The Red Wings sent him to Philadelphia in the Darryl Sittler deal. Craven played for four other teams in a career that stretched through 2000. He finished with 1,071 games played.
Other picks in the round: Wow – seven players from that first round played at least 1,000 games. The list in order: Brian Bellows, Ron Sutter, Scott Stevens, Phil Housley, Andreychuk, Craves, and Ken Daneyko.
The details: Andreychuk was a center, but soon was moved to left wing. He wasn’t particularly fast, but had magic hands around the net. That explains his 640 career goals. Dave peaked with the Sabres with 41 goals in 1991-92, and was a consistent point-a-game scorer in Buffalo. Andreychuk reached 50 goals with Toronto in 1993-94, and won a Stanley Cup in Tampa Bay after leaving Buffalo for a second time after the 2000-01 season.
Other 16s: Jim Ritcher (1980) was a great college center. It took a move to guard in 1983 to get him into the starting lineup. Once he did that, it was tough to get him out of the position. Ritcher stayed through 1993 and finished his career in Atlanta. Tremaine Edmunds’ career (2018) is off to a promising start as a middle linebacker. Ronnie Harmon (1986) carved out a niche as a pass receiver over 12 years, with four of them coming here. James Williams (1990) was a Bill for the Super Bowl years but was a disappointment. E.J. Manuel (2013) regressed after a decent rookie season. Martin Biron (1995) essentially was the Sabres’ goalie between Dominik Hasek and Ryan Miller. He did well, and his upbeat personality has served him well in broadcasting. Nikita Zadorov (2013) was a regular in 2014-15 on the Sabres’ blue line, and then was dealt to Colorado in the Ryan O’Reilly transaction.
(Follow Budd on Twitter @WDX2BB)