Buffalo Sabres prospect Jack Eichel is just weeks away from beginning his first training camp as a professional, and that means the preparation is well underway. In fact, the preparation began almost right after he was drafted with the second overall pick by Buffalo.
Sabres alternate captain Matt Moulson texted the young rookie a congratulatory message shortly after he was taken by the team. Afterward, the eight-year veteran decided to open his doors to the Boston native, asking Eichel if he would want to live with his family for his first season.
“He had approached me about it,” Eichel told Apron Basu of NHL.com. “I thought it would be a good fit.”
It’s not uncommon in the least for rookies to live with a veteran player while they get adjusted to the NHL lifestyle. Stars like Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Henrik Zetterberg lived with veterans during their first years in the league. Not only does it help players get acclimated to the grind, but it can also keep a young man with new found fame grounded.
Of course, the veteran a young player chooses to live with has to be grounded and respected as well for it to be a successful arrangement. For Eichel, living with Moulson could be the perfect situation.
“I heard a lot of good things about him as a person, and getting to know him I think it worked out,” Eichel said. “It’s a really nice house, and he’s got a great family.”
He added: “He’s somebody I can learn from. He’s been in the league a while. He’s been around a lot of great players, and I think it’s going to be a great experience for me.”
For Eichel, the reality of his first season in the NHL is starting to hit him. Eichel takes the ice with his new team in just two weeks time when the Sabres prospects partake in the organization’s first Prospect Challenge with the Boston Bruins and New Jersey Devils.
From there, it’s on to training camp and then his first pro season with the Sabres where everyone in the hockey world will be playing close attention to the former Hobey Baker award winner.