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Sabres' Moulson has persevered

Sometime next summer Matt Moulson will likely sign a contract that will pay him about $5 Million a year to play in the National Hockey League.  Not bad for a guy who wasn't good enough to play for any AAA youth teams in Toronto at the age of 16.

Moulson was cut by every AAA team in one league and ended up playing for a AA club. 

That is just one example of how the newest Buffalo Sabre has overcome some obstacles and challenges in his hockey career.

The North York, Ontario native would go on to play college hockey at Division One Cornell and had a standout career for the Big Red with 71 goals over four years in Ithaca but when it came time for the NHL draft, Moulson had to wait until the ninth round before his name was called.

  The Pittsburgh Penguins took him with the 263rd selection in the 2003 draft, which would be 258 picks after the Sabres grabbed Thomas Vanek.

Moulson didn't like what the Penguins were offering so they let him walk away and he ended up signing with the Los Angeles Kings.  Moulson spent the better part of three years in the minors before he got what he thought was his big break.

Moulson made the Kings coming out of the 2008-2009 pre-season and was told by the team to get an apartment.  But after a slow start in his first seven games, he was sent back to the American Hockey League.

Moulson would end up leaving the Kings organization and signing on with the Islanders where his career would take off.  He had three straight 30 goal seasons before scoring 15 in last year's lockout shortened schedule.

Over the last four years. Moulson recorded 112 goals which is 10th best in the NHL.  He's durable as well, missing only one game in that four year span.

You can bet Moulson can't wait to parlay that into a profitable trip to the free agent market.  The largest contract he has ever signed was a three year, $9.45 million extension with the Islanders in January 2011.

He will easily surpass that next July.

In case Moulson has any free time on his hands, he might want to talk to the other tenant in the First Niagara Center, the Buffalo Bandits.  Moulson is a lacrosse player too and was good enough to be drafted by the Rochester Knighthawks of the National Lacrosse League. 

Moulson has other ties to Western New York.  His sister Shannon played hockey at Niagara University.

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