One and done: Gogulla gallops back to Germany

After just one season of North American hockey, Philip Gogulla will be leaving the Portland Pirates and heading back to the DEL to play a sixth season for the Cologne Sharks.

Those close to the situation will say this is no surprise. The 2005 second round pick (48th overall) was unhappy and perhaps a little homesick in his first extended period away from Europe. The first red flag came when he reacted poorly to the rigors of prospect camp two summers ago. There was never any sense that playing in the NHL was his "dream gig".

The 6'2, 198 pound forward appeared in 76 games for the Pirates in 2009-10, finishing sixth in team scoring with 15 goals and 20 assists. Like many pro rookies, he had his good games and bad ones. When a load of teammates were called up to the big club following Portland's first round playoff loss, Gogulla (and fellow German Felix Schutz) flew to Cologne to play in the IIHF World Championships. Gogulla posted one goal and six shots on net in seven of Germany's nine tourney games.

And so the beat goes on when it comes to the Sabres history with European draft picks.

Moving on, Gogulla's departure puts the heat on the Sabres to get a deal gone with 2007 third rounder Corey Tropp. After a 20-goal junior year, the Michigan State forward is primed to begin his professional career in Portland. There was already a spot open, and now there is 35 points to replace with the loss of Gogulla.
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