Jack Eichel is in town for the NHL Scouting Combine, which was held at the First Niagara Center and HarborCenter in Buffalo. Upon finishing up at the combine, Eichel spoke to the media regarding several topics.
For one, Eichel recieved a lot of attention regarding comments he made to teams that he was interviewing with, in which he stated that he is in fact better than Connor McDavid, who is likely to go #1 in the NHL Draft. Eichel spoke to the media about the comments, which received far more attention than he was expecting.
The comments, he said, were not directed in a negative way toward McDavid, but were instead just a way of showing off his self-confidence to teams (most notably Buffalo) that he may end up playing for.
Eichel also spoke about meeting McDavid for the first time. The two have been on the same sheet of ice before, but had yet to meet in person.
“I spent a little bit of time with him (McDavid)” Eichel told the press. “He’s a pretty good kid… A lot of people had made a big deal of the fact that we hadn’t met before, so it’s nice to finally meet him.”
Eichel and McDavid have been tied together for seemingly forever. When one name gets mentioned, the other is immediately brought up, and it’s been that way for quite a while. The rivalry between the two players represents more than a one-on-one battle. Instead, it’s been seen as much more – College vs. Juniors, USA vs. Canada, and so on.
But when it comes down to it, Eichel believes that the competition has been healthy for him and McDavid.
“It seems like we’ve been linked together forever, but I guess that’s part of it… The media is going to compare two players in the majority of sports, and it just so happens that we’re being compared now. We’re in two different situations, playing in two different leagues for two different countries… I think it’s good competition.”
With the Combine being located in Buffalo, a couple of questions about the city were inevitable as well. Eichel told the media that he was getting a feel for the city, and had been welcomed by everyone he met. He even gave praise to Buffalo for their famous chicken wings, which he had the pleasure of trying for the first time. Obviously, Eichel received some special treatment and attention from Buffalo this week, since it appears the Hobey Baker winner will call the city home very soon.
Eichel commented on newly-hired head coach Dan Bylsma as well, and spoke very highly of him. Byslma, who has worked with Eichel before, also has a very high opinion of the B.U. stand-out. According to Bylsma, Eichel and fellow-prospect Sam Reinhart, if united, could become of the power-duos in the NHL.
Check out Eichel’s whole interview here:
Cam is a Broadcast Journalism student at the University of Maryland. He’s the Boston Bruins Beat Writer at The Hockey Writers, and is an avid college hockey fan. Find him on Twitter @CamHasbrouck!