The Buffalo Sabres signed Jack Eichel to a three-year deal on Wednesday, officially putting to rest any speculations that the Hobey Baker winner would return to Boston University.
With the help of the NHL Combine in Buffalo, there’s undoubtedly been an “Eichel Frenzy” going on the past several weeks, as Sabres fans awaited the drafting, and then the signing of one of the strongest American prospects in quite a long time.
The excitement regarding Eichel has spilled into the Sabres’ offices as well, and the Sabres’ brass haven’t held back at all when sharing their thoughts (as well as hopes) regarding Eichel.
“This is a great event in this organization’s history,” said Sabres GM Tim Murray, according to Democratic and Chronicle. “This young man is going to hopefully take us places where we haven’t been and take us up from where we’ve been the last few years.”
What’s not to be excited about? The Sabres have revamped their roster since last season, and continue to look stronger and stronger as the offseason progresses. Now, with the addition of a prospect as promising as Eichel, the Sabres have a lot to be excited about, especially if you helped put it together, as is the case with Tim Murray.
Buffalo’s newly-hired head coach Dan Bylsma, who has worked with Eichel before, is also excited to see the young man heading his way once again.
“Watching him play at the World Championships, you see him play against NHL players, against good NHL players, and he competed at a high level against them,” Bylsma said.
What is it exactly that Bylsma loves about Eichel? Skating, skating, skating. The new Sabres head coach has raved about Eichel’s ability to skate, and has said that it’s “head-turning” even to NHL players.
That being said, Bylsma knows that there’s also areas of Eichel’s game that need work. One of those areas, unsurprisingly, is Eichels defensive game. Jack has been carried to the NHL by his offensive abilities, topped off by a phenomenal skating ability that is almost unnatural. Now, it’s just a matter of getting Eichel to use that ability on both ends of the ice.
Nonetheless, Eichel is undoubtedly bringing an eye-opening and hopeful talent to Buffalo. The Eichel obsession is nowhere near closed.