One of the most compelling of Buffalo’s longshots was a dynamic forward who actually wore the same number  that coincided with his draft position — 89th overall in 1988. Eventually teamed with Pat LaFontaine, Alexander Mogilny arguably was the ultimate forward “find” in Sabres’ annals.
While scouting at the World Juniors Championships in Anchorage, Alaska, in 1989, Buffalo Sabres Director of Player Personnel Don Luce met with a young Russian fifth-round pick who was in Alaska with his Soviet junior team.
A few months later, Luce received a long-distance call from Stockholm. It was Alexander Mogilny, asking for assistance to come to America and to Buffalo.
Literally that same evening, Luce and Sabres general manager Gerry Meehan boarded a plane to Sweden, and returned a few days later with a player who would change the Sabres franchise, and the NHL, forever.
The entire hockey world knew he was the next Soviet star. Wearing No. 89 in recognition of the year he arrived in America as well as his draft position, Mogilny scored his first goal on his first NHL shift.
Alex would later score 76 goals in 77 games during the 1992-93 season, playing alongside superstar center LaFontaine. With magical chemistry, both established team records in numbers categories and led the Sabres to a first-round playoff victory for the first time in almost a decade.
In the fall of 1993 however, LaFontaine was forced to undergo knee surgery and was out of the lineup for almost two years. The duo would never again be reunited.
In due time, Alex exited Buffalo for Vancouver after which he was traded to New Jersey, winning the Stanley Cup in 2000 with the New Jersey Devils.
The Garden of Dreams Foundation helps kids facing obstacles in the Tri-State area, including Rangers fan Taylor Ryan who is battling a rare blood disorder called Langerhans cell histiocytosis.