Standing at 5’5”, Nathan Gerbe doesn’t look like much at first glance – but try looking closer. The Buffalo Sabres’ 2005 fifth-round draft pick may have a very big future in the NHL.
Gerbe played his college hockey as an Eagle at Boston College. In 2008 Gerbe led the Eagles to the Championship, scoring five goals in the team’s final two games – he was honored as the tournament MVP as a result.
In the same season Gerbe was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, which is given to the NCAA’s top men’s ice hockey player. He finished with 68 points in just 43 games.
After his fantastic season at Boston College, Gerbe signed a three-year $2.55 million contract with Sabres on May 6, 2008.
Gerbe got his first taste of the NHL on December 6, 2008. But his first stint as an NHL player did not go as the Sabres’ organization had hoped it would.
Gerbe played 10 games for Buffalo in the 2008-09 season, but finished with just one point. Head Coach Lindy Ruff was convinced that Gerbe was trying to do too much and had gotten away from his style of play.
However, Gerbe did collect the Dudley “Red” Garrett Memorial Award as the AHL rookie of the year in the 08-09 season.
The young Sabre got another chance with the club this season. Even though he has played just two games so far, he has two points and has looked much better.
On December 9, Gerbe collected two points including his first career NHL goal in a 3-0 win over the Washington Capitals.
“But now you know you can score in this League,” Gerbe told Sabres.com after the goal. “It’s a huge confidence-booster. The weight is off my back and I can finally breathe a little bit.”
He also had seven shots in the two games with the big club before hurting his groin.
After putting up 30 goals and 56 points in his rookie season in the AHL, Gerbe has followed that up with 28 points in 32 games. However, he has just eight goals to this point.
Regardless of Gerbe’s size, his effort and pure talent make him an offensive threat every time his skates hit the ice.
You can bet that if the Sabres continue their recent offensive slide, Gerbe will certainly get another chance to get his second career NHL goal.