Jack Eichel was the second overall pick for the Buffalo Sabres in the 2015 NHL Draft. Eichel has been solid throughout his NHL career so far, but he might want to leave Buffalo.
He has been overshadowed throughout his NHL career because of Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers. McDavid was the number one overall pick in that draft and he is currently the best player in the world.
Jack Eichel is not happy with the situation right now in Buffalo along with defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen. Eichel is under contract and he is currently on an eight-year deal worth $80 million. His contract will not expire until after the 2026-2027 season.
One Big Question
The question is, who is going to want to take on Eichel’s contract if Buffalo decided they wanted to shop him? I am surprised that General Manager Jason Botterill was given another season considering the fact he hasn’t done a great job of drafting or signing free agents.
Eichel is only 23 years old and he is a top-line centerman and he could be an excellent second-line centerman on another team. He played in 68 games last season and scored 36 goals and recorded 42 assists. His plus/minus was 5.
In 354 career games, Eichel has scored 137 goals and recorded 200 assists. His plus/minus is -60.
He is the heart and soul of the Buffalo Sabres and I am curious to see what teams would want to take a risk on him.
The New York Islanders, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Carolina Hurricanes could be three potential teams that would take him.
Ryan O’Reilly was also traded from Buffalo to the St. Louis Blues during the offseason last year. O’Reilly won a Stanley Cup with them last year and also the Conn Smythe Trophy (Playoff MVP). His reputation was salvaged in St. Louis as well. Maybe it is time for Eichel to get out of Buffalo.
Tough Times in Buffalo
Eichel is in a horrible situation with Buffalo. I think this could be more of what happened with Taylor Hall with the Edmonton Oilers and how he got dealt.
The Buffalo Sabres have not made it to the playoffs since the 2010-2011 season. They lost to the Philadelphia Flyers in seven games that season. Buffalo had a chance to upset them as the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference, but they didn’t. The Sabres have been clueless ever since and this is why Eichel wants out.
The Right Fit
I think if he was put in a good situation, he would be just fine. A team like the Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers would be good places, but I don’t think they have the cap room to get him or the draft picks or the prospects to reel him in.
There is no way he would be traded within the Atlantic Division. I don’t think any teams out west would take him either, but just imagine him in a town like Edmonton or Calgary with the Flames? The Chicago Blackhawks have no room and neither do the Nashville Predators. The Dallas Stars and the Colorado Avalanche would be very interesting fits. Dallas would maybe be able to win it all if they acquired Eichel.
This is going to be a very interesting situation to keep an eye on this offseason whenever the postseason concludes.
The fact that the Buffalo Sabres couldn’t even make the field of 24-playoff teams tells you how bad this franchise has become. Fans and others have sounded off on them.
Do you think Jack Eichel wants out of Buffalo and which team would be a good fit for him? Leave a comment below.
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Follow Glenn Kaplan on Twitter @glennkaplan13.