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Islanders acquire Thomas Vanek

The New York Islanders announced on Sunday that they have acquired Thomas Vanek from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for Matt Moulson, a first round selection in the 2014 National Hockey League Draft and a second round selection in 2015.

Vanek, 29, joins the Islanders after playing in 13 games with Buffalo this season, accumulating nine points (four goals and five assists).  He was named co-captain of the Sabres this season and has worn the “C” during the team’s home games.

The Vienna, Austria native has played nine NHL seasons, totaling 254 goals and 243 assists for 497 points with a plus-29 rating in 598 career games. Vanek had a career year in 2006-07, averaging over a point per game with 84 points (43 goals and 41 assists) in 82 games, while leading the NHL in plus/minus rating with a plus-47 rating. Vanek led Buffalo in power-play goals in seven of his nine seasons in the league and finished first in the NHL with 20 in 2008-09.

The 6’2, 217 pound left wing has played in 36 career NHL playoff games, totaling 20 points (15 goals and five assists).

The Sabres selected Vanek in the first round (fifth overall) of the 2003 NHL Draft, making him the highest selected Austrian hockey player in league history. He represented Buffalo at the 2009 NHL All-Star Weekend in Montreal, QC.

Internationally, Vanek has represented Austria the World Junior Championships (2001-02, 2002-03 and 2003-04) and World Championships (2003-04, 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2012-13).

Prior to his professional career, Vanek played two seasons at the University of Minnesota (WCHA).  Each season he averaged well over a point per game, totaling 113 points (57 goals and 56 assists) in 83 games with the Golden Gophers.

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