The decision that hockey fans around the World have been waiting on has finally been made, Jack Eichel has chosen the number he will wear.
Okay, so it isn’t an Earth-shattering decision, but Sabres fans have been, impatiently, waiting to find out what number will be on the back of his jersey since he was taken by the Buffalo Sabres with the second overall selection in June’s NHL Draft.
In a press conference at the First Niagara Center on Friday morning, Eichel revealed the number he will don when the time arrives to play in a professional game.
“If the opportunity presented itself to make the team and be a part of the Sabres next year, I’d be wearing number 15,” he said. “I had a few numbers that I had in mind. I didn’t really want to pick one because I didn’t want to make it seem like I was content on already making the team.”
He may not be content with admitting he has a place on the team, but after deciding to join the Sabres and leave Boston University, it’s a safe assumption that Eichel will be suiting up for Buffalo come opening night on October 8 against the Ottawa Senators.
As far as his decision goes, Eichel said it was family ties that lead to the number choice.
“It’s a number that my sister’s worn and my dad’s worn and I’ve worn before,” he said. “It’s their lucky number and it happens to be the year I got drafted. I like the number and I think it would be really nice to wear it if the opportunity presents itself to be on the Sabres next year.”
He wanted to make it clear, though, that just because he picked a number, it doesn’t mean he feels he’s certain to be one the team come October. In fact, he feels that he won’t be given that number until he’s officially earned it, which is why he is wearing 41 during the team’s prospect development camp.
“It’s just a number and I’m sure I’ll get another number at training camp,” Eichel said. “Fifteen’s not my number until I make the team.”
Michael is a former Managing Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s covered the Buffalo Sabres, along with the NHL in general, for various outlets since 2009. His work has been featured on outlets such as Yahoo, Sports Illustrated and Fox Sports.