We continue our series about Buffalo Sabres history, with each day’s post highlighting a player to have worn the subsequent jersey number with the Buffalo Sabres. This series is not designed to say that any player is the ‘best’ to have worn that jersey number, but rather to allow fans to get a taste of the team’s history and learn more about some of the players in it.
Today, we finish out this series by taking a look at jersey number 63. (Skipping ahead, since no player in Sabres history ever wore number 62.)
Current Buffalo Sabres forward Tyler Ennis made history when he suited up for the Sabres; he became the first player in franchise history to wear jersey number 63. Drafted by the Sabres 26th overall in 2008, Ennis finished one more season with the WHL’s Medicine Hat Tigers before he joined the Sabres organization for the 2009-10 season. He spent most of that season with the AHL’s Portland Pirates, appearing in 69 regular season games with the team.
In those 69 games with the Pirates, Ennis racked up 65 points. He was second on the team in scoring, behind only right winger Mark Mancari (74 points). Ennis was second in goals and assists as well, surpassed only by Mancari. He also managed to accrue just 12 penalty minutes, least of any skater on the team who appeared in at least 40 games.
Ennis also saw his first NHL action that season. He made his debut with the Sabres on November 14, 2009 against the Philadelphia Flyers, and it was that night that he’d score his first NHL goal as well. Ennis would re-join the Sabres in late March and would end up appearing in 10 regular season games, and six playoff games, with Buffalo. He had nine points in the regular season and four points in the playoffs with the Sabres that year.
Ennis has consistently put up fairly solid numbers during his years with the Sabres. His first full season with Buffalo saw him appear in all 82 games – the only player to do such. He had 49 points (20-29) in that stretch and added four points in seven playoff games.
The 2011-12 year saw him put up 34 points in 48 games with the Sabres. , while he put up a comparable 31 points (10-21) in 47 games in the 2012-13 season. He played with Langnau in the Swiss-A league during the lockout and put up eight points in nine games there.
This past season, Ennis appeared in 80 games, most of anyone on the Sabres. He led the team with 21 goals and was second in assists (22) and points (43), surpassed slightly by Cody Hodgson in those regards. As an RFA this summer, he was qualified by the Sabres and signed to a five-year deal worth $23 million. This upcoming season, he’ll make $7.3 million.
What are your thoughts on Ennis? Like him, love him, hate him? Looking forward to seeing what he can do this season as the rebuild continues?
Other players to wear jersey number 63 for the Sabres: None.