Long before the days of Zemgus Girgensons and Paul Gaustad in Sabres uniforms, there was another #28 in town. Today, let’s take a look at one of 19 players in Buffalo Sabres to history to wear that number: Donald Audette.
Right Wing, b. 1969
Drafted by the Sabres, 1989
Donald Audette’s NHL career saw him play with six different teams, but none more than the Buffalo Sabres. In fact, Audette actually had two separate stints with the Sabres, the team that he began his NHL career with.
The Sabres drafted the winger with the 183rd overall pick in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft. Audette, a native of Laval, Quebec, was coming straight out of the QMJHL, where he had spent the previous three seasons with the Laval Titan.
He spent all of the first season after being drafted with the AHL’s Rochester Americans, where he put up 88 points in 70 regular season games. He also had 17 points in 15 playoff games with Rochester and made his first NHL appearances in two Sabres playoff games.
Audette would split the 1990-91 season before spending all of the 1991-92 season with Buffalo. In his first full NHL season, he had 31 goals and 17 assists for 48 points in 63 games.
He’d go on to spend most of the next six seasons in Buffalo, staying with the Sabres through the beginning of the 1998-1999 season. He was unable to come to contact terms with Buffalo for the beginning of the year, so he sat out part of the season before demanding a trade. Finally, he was traded to the Los Angeles Kings in December 1998.
Audette would wind up back with the Sabres in March 2001, when the Thrashers sent him to Buffalo in exchange for Kamil Piros and a 2001 4th-round pick.
He’d play 78 games with Atlanta over two seasons before being shipped back to Buffalo for his second stint with the Sabres. It was a brief one, just 12 regular season games and 13 playoff games before he was out again, this time becoming a member of the Dallas Stars organization.
Six months later, the Dallas Stars traded Audette with Shawn Van Allen to Montral in exchange for Benoit Brunet and Martin Ruchinsky. He spent parts of three seasons with the Habs organization, also playing 11 games with the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs in 2002-03. Finally, Audette finished his NHL career with the Florida Panthers in 2003-04.
He finished his playing career with 735 regular seasoon games played and 509 points in that stretch. He also won the Dudley (Red) Garrett Memorial Award in the AHL in 1989-90.
Audette finished his NHL career having played 421 regular season games with the Sabres, scoring 166 goals and 131 assists with the Buffalo team in his career. He also had 38 points in 61 playoff games with Buffalo.
Other Sabres to have worn #28: Zemgus Girgensons, Paul Gaustad, Jason Botterill, Domenic Pittis, Dale DeGray, Mark Ferner, Jeff Parker, Tom Kurvers, Brian Engblom, Richard Hajdu, Paul Gardner, Bob Sauve, Ron Fischer, Jim Walsh, Gary Bromley, Rocky Farr, Dave Dryden, Terry Ball