Thomas Vanek returns to Minnesota roots

MINNESOTA – Former Sabre Thomas Vanek has returned to the place where he played college hockey. He signed a three-year deal with the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday.

Buffalo traded Vanek to the New York Islanders early in the 2013-2014 season, and the Islanders subsequently dealt him to Montreal at the trade deadline.

The native of Austria played college hockey for the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers and also met his wife there.

His $19.5 million dollar deal over three years is a bit of a hometown discount. The sniper scored 27 goals and 68 points in 78 games between the Sabres, Islanders, and Canadiens last year.

Buffalo drafted Vanek in 2003 with the 5th overall pick. His best season came in 2006-2007 when he scored 43 goals and 84 points. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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