Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Looks Like Jack Eichel Wants to Bet on Himself

During the summer we heard a lot of talk about the Buffalo Sabres being interested in locking up Jack Eichel long-term before he hits restricted free agency next summer.

It's not happening as quickly as many expected, and there's good reason for that.

The Sabres are likely angling to lock up Eichel on the maximum term of eight years, but prices are rising after Leon Draisaitl inked an eight-year, $68 million deal with the Oilers this summer.

How does Eichel stack up with Draisaitl today?

Both players averaged close to a point a game last season, and Eichel did it while driving his own line while Draisaitl spent much of his ice time flanking Connor McDavid.

How will Eichel stack up against Draisaitl next year, after his third full season in Buffalo?

Apparently, Eichel believes he'll compare favorably.

"I have no problem playing the year out," Eichel told WGR 550's Paul Hamilton earlier this week. "I'm adamant about staying a Sabre, I want to bring some new excitement to this town and the contract thing will take care of itself."

Sounds like Eichel and his agent, Peter Fish, are confident that the 20-year-old can increase his value next season. Either that or they want to make Sabres' GM Jason Botterill sweat a little bit. You can hear audio of Eichel talking about the contract--or lack thereof--here, or by clicking the link below.