Thomas Vanek (born January 19, 1984) is an Austrian professional ice hockey left winger of theNHL. Vanek was drafted by the Sabres fifth overall in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, making him the highest draft pick in Austrian history. Thomas Vanek signed a three-year deal with Buffalo on September 3, 2004, and began playing for the Sabres in 2005–06 after a season with their AHL affiliate. He had a promising rookie season.
Thomas Vanek recorded his best statistical season, the following year in 2006–07. He also finished an NHL best +47, earning the NHL Plus/Minus Award. Upon the expiration of his entry-level contract during the 2007 off-season, Thomas Vanek signed a seven-year $50 million offer sheet from the Edmonton Oilers. At the end of the season 2008-09 Thomas Vanek led the NHL in Powerplay goals with 20. The 2009-10 season started on a sour note as Vanek sustained an upper body injury after scoring two goals in a 6-2 win against the Detroit Red Wings on October 13.
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