Thomas Vanek returns to Minnesota roots

Thomas Vanek

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.

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