April 22, 2016

Greg Brown

When the Buffalo Sabres used their 26th overall draft pick in the 1986 NHL Entry Draft to draft Greg Brown, they really thought they had a steal.

The Southboro, Massachusetts native was a star with St. Mark's Prep School, but still a long ways away from the National Hockey League. But before turning pro, Brown had plans to attend Boston College where he, like his brother Doug, would become a NCAA hockey star. He scored 24 goals and 120 points in 119 games. In 1989 and 1990 he was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, which goes to the top player in NCAA hockey.

Brown actually left school after just one year in order to play with the American national hockey team. With NHL players then-mostly ineligible to play in the Olympics, Brown made the Olympic team and participated in the Calgary Olympics, scoring 4 assists in 6 contests. Brown would finish each school season by rejoining Team USA to participate in the World Championships.

A cerebral defenseman who relied on savvy puck movement and quick skating, Greg, like his brother Doug who played over 800 games in the NHL, looked to parlay his impressive amateur record into a storied professional career.

In 1990-91 the Sabres gave Brown a good taste of the NHL. The rookie started the year in Buffalo, and scored 1 goal and 2 assists in 39 games. Perhaps the Sabres rushed Brown to the NHL, as evidenced by a poor -20 rating. The Sabres opted to send Brown down to the Rochester Americans for the remainder of the season and the entire following season.

While the demotion to the minors was disappointing for Brown, he was able to relive a dream. The Sabres loaned Brown from the Amerks to Team USA in time for the 1992 Olympic games.

The Sabres gave Brown one more chance the following year, but after he got into only 10 games at the NHL level, the Sabres did not offer Brown a new contract.

Brown did sign with the Pittsburgh Penguins for the 1993-94 season. Brown split the year between the minors and the NHL, scoring 3 goals and 11 points in 36 games with the Pens.

The following season Brown was moved to the Winnipeg Jets organization. The Jets used Brown for only 9 games, the last 9 games of his NHL career.

After 6 years in the pros, Brown got into a total of 94 games in the National Hockey League. He scored 4 goals and 18 points. He decided to pursue a career in professional hockey in Europe beginning in the 1995-96 season. He would play in Sweden, Switzerland and Germany in a 6 year European career.

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