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Entries with the tag: jack eichel

Jack Eichel’s Role In Buffalo

from Leo Roth of the Democrat & Chronicle,

The role Eichel, the team’s brooding 20-year-old superstar, played in the firing of GM Tim Murray and coach Dan Bylsma will no doubt be overestimated — and underestimated — by the time the dust settles on this latest fooling-nobody try by drowning owners Terry and Kim Pegula to let everyone know they won’t stand for losing and got it all figured out.

But wherever the truth lies, Eichel has blood on his hands.

The Pegulas, who have acted very amateurish in their opinion-seeking from players they seem to moon over, had to have been influenced by media reports and firsthand knowledge that Eichel, the face of their sunken franchise, wasn’t enamored with Bylsma as coach.

But refuse to sign a contract extension this summer?

The money he’ll be getting could pave a road from Boston to L.A. and certainly smooth over his feelings about the head coach and his pedestrian tactics. And if the Sabres didn’t end their six-year playoff drought next year, Bylsma would be gone anyway.

None of that matters now but one thing remains: Eichel’s new reputation as a coach killer (with GMs as collateral damage).

As the “savior" of the franchise who undercut his coach, threw teammates under the bus and pouted before the media after missing a $2 million bonus by the smallest of percentage points for not finishing in the Top 10 of points-per-game scoring in the NHL, the only way Eichel lives this down is to deliver a Stanley Cup to the starving hockey masses of western New York.

more

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All Jack Eichel Today

from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,

The Buffalo News: "Let’s start with this morning then. I talked to your agent and he said you’re hurt by all this stuff. I can imagine if, like you’re saying to me, it’s stuff you didn’t say and it’s being reported that you said it. How hurtful is that and what were you thinking when you starting seeing these things?"

Eichel: "First, when you see that people are writing these things and saying that you said these things, my first thought is where are they getting this information? If it’s not coming out of my mouth and I didn’t verbally say it to you or anybody, then where are you getting this information? Second of all, why are you writing it and trying to back yourself up on it?

"I was just more than anything bothered because I thought leaving Buffalo last week, obviously frustrated with the way the season ended. If I were to do over my press conference at the end of the year, I probably should have shown some better body language. It’s just so fresh in your mind. Mentally, it’s quite frustrating, and it’s quite frustrating for all of us on the team. If I showed that frustration a little bit more than other guys in my end-of-the-year meeting, then that’s how I am. I think my agent said that I wear it on my sleeve, and I do to a point. I’m an emotional guy. When you want to succeed and you want to do well and that doesn’t work out for you, it definitely takes a toll.

"Like I said, I would have liked to have handled my end-of-the-year meeting a little differently, my exit press conference with you guys, but it is what it is. Just hearing these things that people are writing after I have a meeting with Tim and a meeting with Dan, I thought both of them went well. None of anything that I’ve read so far has been accurate of what was said in those meetings with them. It’s a bit frustrating and a bit disheartening because I thought things were heading in the right direction leaving Buffalo. As much as we didn’t have a great year, you’ve got to just look forward to the future. Speaking to Tim and speaking to the Pegulas, just expecting big things for next year. It’s just frustrating to still be dealing with this more than anything."

more Q & A...

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Jack Eichel’s Agent Sets The Record Straight

from John Vogl of the Bufffalo News,

The report of Jack Eichel saying he has no desire to sign an extension with the Sabres if Dan Bylsma remains coach is “ridiculous,” Eichel’s agent told The Buffalo News.

“I don’t know where anyone is getting these reports, but they are ridiculous in a word,” Peter Fish said by phone Wednesday. “Jack, he left Buffalo, he thought he had a real good meeting with coach Bylsma and a real good meeting with” General Manager Tim “Murray. When he got home to Boston, he was genuinely excited with the thoughts that maybe they’re just a few players away from getting into the playoffs.

“We hope to be having talks with Tim Murray when the time is right here, and like I said before, he’d like nothing better than to bring the Stanley Cup to Buffalo because it’s a great city. They’re a passionate fan base. A lot of fans are a lot like Jack in the way he grew up in his family. So I just don’t know where this is coming from, and quite frankly it’s someone who’s got an ax to grind for some reason who doesn’t know him and doesn’t understand him.”

continued

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Jack Eichel On The Sabres’ Season

from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,

Jack Eichel hates to lose. He wishes that hatred was more evident in the Sabres’ organization.

“I think guys want to win,” Eichel said Monday, “but there’s a difference between saying you want to win and actually wanting to win and putting the work in and dedicating your life to it.”

The end of the season has hit Eichel hard. He was still in uniform long after Sunday’s season finale, and he was often short with his answers during Monday’s locker cleanout.

But when he expanded on his thoughts, he said a lot. He was directly asked whether more guys needed to hate losing.

continued

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Dan Bylsma Sends A Message To Jack Eichel

from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,

Matt Moulson, whose seven power-play goals entered the night one off the NHL lead, was moved from the second unit on to Eichel's spot at the point of the first. Marcus Foligno went on the second unit. Eichel stayed on the bench for the first opportunity against the NHL's top penalty-killing team.

Eichel takes losing worse than any Sabres player of recent years, along the lines of Ryan Miller and Chris Drury. He was furious in the dressing room after this one, slamming equipment into his duffel bag before a brief meeting with reporters. It's the kind of fire a team needs more of when times are tough.

Eichel has no points and is minus-5 in his last four games. Bylsma admitted to sending both team and star player a message.

"It's not my decision. It's the coach's," Eichel said. "They have a really good PK and we had a lot of good opportunities on the power play. We just need to finish them....

Eichel words were politically correct but he was clearly seething. Asked if he was surprised to not be on the ice, the 20-year-old said the time to discuss the topic was over.

"I think I just answered that. I'm not the coach," he said. "Like I said, we had a lot of opportunities on the first power play. ... I was on the second power play. I'm out there working hard. I think that's all I really have to say about that."

more

Below, watch Eichel post-game...

Continue Reading »

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Video- Jack Eichel Playing Through Ankle Issue

Jacke Eichel is trying to play through an ankle injury...

 

 

 

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  Tags: jack+eichel

Afternoon Line- Jack Eichel

"I'm looking forward to it. I've been waiting for a while, so it will be nice to play a game, it feels like it's been a while. What has it been, 21, 22 games? It's been a while. Just excited to get back into the game action and play instead of watch."

-Jack Eichel of the Buffalo Sabres on returning to the Buffalo lineup tonight.  NHL.com has more.

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Video- Jack Eichel Leaves Practice With Leg Issue

 

added 11:46am, video of the actual play is below...

Continue Reading »

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NHL.com’s ‘30 in 30’ series examines the Buffalo Sabres today

From NHL.com's Joe Yerdon:

NHL.com is providing in-depth roster, prospect and fantasy analysis for each of its 30 teams throughout August. Today, the Buffalo Sabres.

After five straight seasons out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and three seasons of rebuilding, the Buffalo Sabres have set their sights on qualifying for the 2017 postseason.

The Sabres had 81 points last season, 27 more than in 2014-15, when they had the worst record in the NHL. Although that put them seventh in the Atlantic Division, they were 12 points behind the Detroit Red Wings for a playoff berth.

Buffalo has moved onto the path to success in its rebuild but must now take the next step. To help do that, the Sabres made two big additions during the offseason.

Forward Kyle Okposo, who had 22 goals and 42 assists with the New York Islanders last season, signed a seven-year contract reportedley worth $42 million as a free agent on July 1. He will join a lineup that included skilled forwards Ryan O'Reilly, Jack Eichel, Sam Reinhart and Evander Kane. Those four combined for 193 points as four of Buffalo's top five scorers; O'Reilly led with 60 (21 goals).

Continued

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  Tags: buffalo+sabres, evander+kane, jack+eichel, kyle+okposo, ryan+o'reilly, sam+reinhart

Morning Line- Jack Eichel

"Personally, it's been OK, I'm not where I want to be yet, and our team is not where we want to be. I've got to be a lot better. There's a lot more I need to work on and get better at. I don't want to blame it on the fact that I'm adjusting to life and the pace and everything like that because I think I've adjusted pretty well. I need to be more consistent and play my best every time I touch the ice."

-Jack Eichel of the Buffalo Sabres.  Read more on Eichel from Joe McDonald of ESPN.

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Videos- Nice Goal By Jack Eichel, Even A Better Call By Rick Jeanneret

There is only one Rick Jeanneret...

 

 

And Evanka Osmak of Sportsnet does her Jeanneret impression below...

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: jack+eichel, rick+jeanneret

Morning Line- George McPhee On McDavid/Eichel

"What Larry Bird and Magic Johnson did for basketball, [Ovechkin] and Sid did for hockey at a time when hockey needed something to provide hope and excitement. McDavid and Eichel are perpetuating that same sort of intrigue into the League again. Not that it wasn't there before, but you can feel it."

-George McPhee, special advisor for the New York Islanders.  More on this topic from Mike G. Morreale of NHL.com.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: connor+mcdavid, george+mcphee, jack+eichel

A Frustrated Jack Eichel

from Amy Moritz of the Buffalo News,

Twice in the first period he put on some vintage Jack Eichel moves – if an 18-year-old rookie can have the word “vintage” used to describe his play.

Eichel blew by veteran Montreal defender Jeff Petry to charge the net with the puck and create scoring opportunities.

They were fantastic moves and one included a sick toe-drag, but neither resulted in a goal....

“I think I’m getting frustrated at this point,” said Eichel who had four shots in the Sabres 7-2 loss to the Canadiens at First Niagara Center Friday night. “You feel like you’re getting a lot of chances and you’re playing well and you’re doing the right things and then it’s not going your way but it’s a long season. You’re going to start getting the bounces sooner or later if you keep doing the right things.”...

“Just trying to do too much,” Eichel said when asked how he knew he was getting frustrated on the ice. “You don’t want to stray away from what you’ve been doing that’s helped you get the chances. The way I’ve always looked at it – if you’re getting chances then you’re doing something right. I think you just need to bear down a little bit and once you get one I think it will open it up.”

read on

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Jack Eichel scores his first NHL goal

Jack Eichel scored the Sabres' only goal in a 3-1 loss to Ottawa:

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  Tags: buffalo+sabres, jack+eichel, ottawa+senators

It’s All About Jack Eichel In Buffalo Tonight

from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,

There are all kinds of fresh faces around the Buffalo Sabres’ lineup and even behind the bench. Optimism is flowing about as much as it can be for a team coming off back-to-back visits to the netherworld of 30th place in the NHL standings.

After months of hype, the big unveiling is here. It’s the season opener Thursday night in First Niagara Center against the Ottawa Senators. And there’s no way for the team to downplay it: This one is all about Jack Eichel.

The likeness of the No. 2 overall pick is one of four giant posters erected this week in the FNC atrium with its “Next Chapter” marketing slogan plastered on it.

Connor McDavid and Eichel will be forever linked by going 1-2 in the 2015 draft and this is their night, with Eichel skating in Buffalo and McDavid officially suiting up for the Edmonton Oilers for the first time in their game at St. Louis.

“You don’t focus on that too much anymore but it was all part of the experience to get here,” Eichel said after practice Wednesday on the eve of Buffalo’s 45th NHL opener. “There were great times but they’re over with now and it’s time to play hockey.”

Eichel said he expects plenty of electricity in a building that’s been mostly devoid of any juice for several years.

“I think it will be pretty wild,” he said. “I know Buffalo has been looking forward to this one and so have we. It’s going to be a great experience.”

continued

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The McDavid/Eichel Era Begins

from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,

The hockey world is tilting on its axis as the puck drops on the 2015-16 NHL season, bringing about a collision of stars that comes around less than once in a generation.

Consider it a lunar eclipse even more rare than the blood moon.

You have generational talents in Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel — centres so enticing that teams were willing to lose for a year to get them — rocketing into orbit while the deities of the last decade, Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, have neither burned out nor faded away.

There are obvious parallels to 2004-05 with a pair of future superstars arriving together, but the wider landscape is totally different. Back then Crosby and Ovechkin were desperately needed to inject excitement and sell a sport that was emerging from an ugly year-long lockout.

continued

added 8:03am, from Victor Mather of the New York Times,

Every decade or so, hockey fans get excited over a “generational talent” coming into the N.H.L. Wayne Gretzky in 1978, Mario Lemieux in 1984, Eric Lindros in 1992 and Sidney Crosby in 2005 were all considered can’t-miss centers bound for immediate greatness and eventually the Hall of Fame.

This season there are two 18-year-old centers who are being heralded as the next great ones.

continued

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  Tags: connor+mcdavid, jack+eichel

Jacke Eichel Starts His Career With The Buffalo Sabres

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

There is a "normal" routine for a player about to start his first season in the NHL.

For Jack Eichel, it was hanging out at his parents' home this summer, enjoying his mother's home cooking after living away from home playing hockey the past few years. It was getting to know his new landlords: Buffalo Sabres teammate Matt Moulson, Moulson's wife and two small children. He's playing goalie for Moulson's young son, who's too young to know that his new playmate is considered one of the great young talents in the game. And he went through his first physical on Thursday as the Sabres opened training camp.

But juxtaposed against these routines, which young players have experienced for decades, is the undeniable fact that "normal" really is a foreign concept for a player like Eichel, the second overall pick in June's draft.

"He's a special player," Moulson told ESPN.com Thursday. "Does a lot of things that probably 99 percent of the guys in the NHL can't do, and he's 18 years old. This kid's got some stuff that not a lot of people I've ever seen have."

continued

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Jack Eichel Resting Up Before Training Camp Starts

from Joe McDonald of ESPN,

 Jack Eichel, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft, has only a week and a half remaining at home before he embarks on his rookie season for the Buffalo Sabres.

Eichel -- along with No. 1 overall pick Connor McDavid -- has been gaining attention for the possible impact he could make starting in the 2015-16 season since before the Sabres selected the 18-year-old forward in the first round. And with the combine, draft and rookie development camp, it's been a busy summer.

Now the former Boston University standout, Hobey Baker Award winner and native of North Chelmsford, Massachusetts, is finally getting time to enjoy some peace and quiet while focusing on training.

"It’s cooled down a lot and just getting into a daily routine of training and skating, which I’m trying to prepare for training camp," Eichel said. "From the time of the combine until development camp it was definitely pretty hectic. It was quite the media circus and it seemed like everyone was dragging you around to do something, so I really didn’t have the time to settle down somewhere and train. Now that it’s all over it’s been nice to just be able to relax and try to prepare."

continued

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Oh boy, off-season power rankings!

I have little time for power rankings, but for those of you who are interested in such lists, Sportsnet's Luke Fox penned a list of rankings based upon NHL teams' offseason moves or the lack thereof:

1. Edmonton Oilers: Any off-season that begins with Connor McDavid should be half decent. But it's what happened before the draft (but after the lottery) — securing a bona fide GM in Peter Chiarelli and head coach in Todd McLellan — that should give the Oilers faithful the most hope. Chiarelli wasted no time addressing the team's weaknesses in net (Cam Talbot) and along the blueline (Andrej Sekera). Mark Letestu is a wise depth signing, and playing hardball with Justin Schultz shows the new-look Oilers are to be taken seriously. Also: Their new alternate sweaters look sick.

Previous: 28

2. Dallas Stars: Trader Jim went after it again, this time landing Patrick Sharp from the Blackhawks, goalie Antti Niemi from San Jose, and inking Johnny Oduya in free agency. An already loaded offence just got scarier. “We have as good a team on paper as anybody in the league," says Tyler Seguin.

Previous: 19

3. Buffalo Sabres: Landing franchise pivot Jack Eichel in the draft immediately puts the Sabres in the upper ranks here, but the trades for Robin Lehner and Ryan O'Reilly have instilled faith that GM Tim Murray — aggressive in pursuit of his targets even if he doesn't always land them (McDavid, Babcock) — is rebuilding the right way. Nice opportunity for Dan Bylsma to get his coaching career back on track with low expectations.

Previous: 30

Fox continues, and if there was any doubt that these rankings are arbitrary...

20. Detroit Red Wings: Bad news: Try as they did, the Red Wings lost Mike Babcock. Good news: They had coach Jeff Blashill waiting in the, er, wings (sorry). Re-signing Gustav Nyquist for a fair price and hiring help from veterans Mike Green (too expensive at $6 million per season) and Brad Richards shows fans that the playoff aspirations won't die with Babcock's departure.

Previous: 12

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  Tags: andrej+sekera, antti+niemi, brad+richards, buffalo+sabres, cam+talbot, dallas+stars, detroit+red+wings, edmonton+oilers, jack+eichel, johnny+oduya, mike+babcock, mike+green, patrick+sharp, peter+chiarelli, robin+lehner, ryan+o'reilly, todd+mclellan

Sabres sign Jack Eichel to entry-level contract

Well I guess he's not going back to college....

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Will McDavid, Eichel become ‘generational’ players?

From the Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal:

People keep calling Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel “generational” players.

It’s a glowing description for the pair of 18-year-old centres expected to be the first and second picks in Friday’s National Hockey League draft at Sunrise, Fla. But what does that mean? Is it the next rung up from a franchise player?

“A generational player to me is a complete player who needs limited coaching, understands the time and temperature of a game, and can beat you with his work and beat you with his skill,” said St. Louis Blues coach Ken Hitchcock. “You don’t have to paint them a picture to get them to understand it. They already have it in their DNA.”

Bobby Orr had it. So did Wayne Gretzky. Mario Lemieux, for sure. They come along every 10 to 20 years, if hockey fans are lucky.

Eric Lindros was thought to be a generational talent as a teenager because he was so big and made plays with soft hands. Concussion problems, though, limited his climb up the generational scale. Sidney Crosby was a wunderkind growing up, but will he ever be on par with Orr, Gretzky and Lemieux?

McDavid and Eichel, the Boston University freshman centre, have been the rage for years and had scouts raving “watch this kid; he can do it all.” They are both coming to the NHL with a skill set and more hoopla than all the rest. But they haven’t played an NHL game.

Continued

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  Tags: connor+mcdavid, eric+lindros, jack+eichel, ken+hitchcock, mario+lemieux, sidney+crosby, wayne+gretzky

The Expectations For Jack Eichel

from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,

Jack Eichel can only hope to be as good as Pat Falloon.

Well, for one season anyway.

During the past 25 years, no No. 2 pick has jumped from the draft stage to the NHL like Falloon. The right winger, coming off consecutive 60-goal seasons in junior hockey, immediately joined San Jose for the 1991-92 season. He was a sensation, leading the expansion team with 25 goals, 34 assists and 59 points.

Falloon’s career quickly fizzled, but he’s proof that teenagers can excel right away. It’s not easy. More than half have failed to get the chance.

Of the last 25 players drafted second overall, 12 played in the NHL immediately. The other 13 stayed in juniors, college or Europe.

Eichel will be the next No. 2 selection when the Buffalo Sabres draft him Friday in Florida’s BB&T Center. The expectations will be tremendous. Fans have been dreaming of Eichel for more than a year, and they’ll want the 18-year-old to torment opponents like he did during a Hobey Baker-winning season at Boston University.

The expectations should probably be lowered. The first-year numbers typically aren’t impressive.

continued

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Jack Eichel Will Listen To His Heart

from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,

Jack Eichel has eaten the wings. He’s met the fans. He’s had tours of the Sabres’ facilities.

The big question is: Has his week in Buffalo convinced him to play in the NHL next season rather than go back to Boston University?

“I still have a lot of people to talk to,” Eichel said Friday. “It’s definitely a tough decision to make. I haven’t been drafted yet, so hopefully after the draft.”

The Sabres will select him second overall June 26 in Florida, and they’ll eagerly await the answer.

“If it ends up that my heart tells me that I want to move on and try to play in the NHL, then that’s what I’m going to do,” he said in HarborCenter. “If my heart says I want to go back to BU, then that’s what I’m going to do.

“There’s pros and cons of both situations. That’s going to make my decision pretty tough. I don’t want to be playing professionally if I want to be back in college with BU. I don’t want be at BU if I prefer to be playing professionally.”

continued

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Jack Eichel Will Fit Right In

from WGRZ,

Is Jack Eichel ready to make the jump from the NCAA to the NHL? Boston University Associate Coach Steve Greeley says without a doubt, in fact he says, "I thought he could play for any NHL team in January of this year."

While the hockey superstar from Chelmsford, Massachusetts has yet to definitively say whether he will leave B-U next season or not, Buffalo Sabres fans are drooling over the prospects of having Jack Eichel in blue and gold next season. Eichel led the nation in scoring this past season with 26 goals and 45 assists for 71 points in just 40 games. He won the Hobey Baker Award as the nation's top college hockey player and developed even beyond expectations of the coaching staff at this institution known for producing great hockey players.

Greeley says that the thing they were most surprised about was how quickly he became a leader on the ice, on the bench and in the locker room. When Jack arrived at Boston University he was just 17 years old, in a college hockey world where 19 or 20 year old freshmen are the norm.

Greeley says that by November the seniors were listening to him, and he was listening to the seniors. There was a sense of mutual respect that developed quickly. "We were extremely impressed. You talk about what our expectations were, that wasn't one of them", Greeley added "He had a confidence to lead our team whether it was in between periods, in between whistles.. our seniors were listening to him and he was listening to our seniors. I think it is going to be very similar in the NHL. It'll take some time for him to become a leader, doesn't happen overnight when you are playing with men, but he will be a leader in the NHL and a guy who can be captain".

continued

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Tim Murray On Jack Eichel

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

Tim Murray wants to make one thing clear -- he's thrilled that he's likely getting Jack Eichel with the second overall pick in the June NHL draft.

"We love him," the Buffalo Sabres GM told ESPN.com Sunday, one day after seeing the Edmonton Oilers win the draft lottery in a bit of an upset.

Sure, Murray was disappointed Saturday night after losing the lottery, that's the competitor in him, he doesn't want to lose at anything.

But he's thrilled, as was the likeliest scenario all season, that the Sabres will get a great player in Eichel.

"People took my comments last night as an insult to Jack Eichel, that's the furthest thing from the truth, I love Jack Eichel," said Murray, referring to him saying he was disappointed for the Sabres fans.

continued

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  Tags: jack+eichel, tim+murray

Jack Eichel Wins The Hobey Baker Memorial Award

via HobeyBaker.com,

Eichel (pronounced IKE-ul), becomes only the second freshman in the award’s 35-year history to win the Hobey. The 18-year old rookie sensation has had a fantastic season and leads the nation in points (70), assists (44), power play points (23) and plus-minus (+51). Saving his best for last, Eichel has scored 8 goals and 7 assists in 7 playoff games, while registering a +15.

As the first freshman Hobey top ten candidate in 12 years, Eichel has already claimed multiple awards having been named the Hockey East Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, conference scoring champion, First Team Hockey East and a member of the All-Rookie Team and, was named Most Valuable Player at the Hockey East playoff tournament. Earlier today, Eichel was named the National Rookie of the Year by the Hockey Commissioners Association and a First Team All American by the Hockey Coaches Association.

Eichel is projected by many hockey experts to be a top two NHL draft selection this June. Additionally, he captained the U.S. team in the most recent World Junior tournament held in Canada.

A native of North Chelmsford, Massachusetts, Jack is enrolled in the College of General Studies. He spends off-ice time mentoring an 11-year old brain cancer patient and helps out with the Terriers team partnership with Autism Speaks.

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Sabres, Coyotes’ tanking could yield change in draft lottery

The Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch offers his usual amount of rumors in a Sunday column discussing scoops from around the league, but on an evening that even the New York Times profiled Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel, Garrioch's most interesting tidbit involves the "TankGate" situation. According to Garrioch, the league is pretty peeved by the Sabres and Coyotes' rather blatant attempts to finish lowest in the league:

“It’s embarrassing,” a league executive said.

The battle for No. 1 pick Connor McDavid of the Erie Otters has been one that teams have been watching all season. For the most part, the Sabres have been sitting in last place, but once the Coyotes cleared the deck at the trade deadline they’ve really gone downhill.

“You can’t blame the teams involved because there is a reward for failure and that’s the highest odds in the lottery,” said the executive. “Maybe you need to change the lottery to give all the teams that miss the playoffs an even chance at the No. 1 pick, or not weight it so much. Who knows?”

The league did change the lottery that gives the team that finishes last only a 20% chance at the No. 1 pick so there has been a major move. Now, they can’t fall below No. 2 so if they don’t win it’s not that big a loss. Perhaps, the league needs to take a second look.

Garrioch continues with a cornucopia of rumors...

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  Tags: buffalo+sabres, connor+mcdavid, jack+eichel, phoenix+coyotes

Jack Eichel And Connor McDavid In The Spotlight

from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

Boston University freshman Jack Eichel's status as an NHL prospect has reached the point that he almost sounds too good to be true.

In addition to being the most-talked-about U.S. center prospect since Mike Modano was drafted No. 1 overall in 1988, Eichel also has a humility and leadership quality that endears him to teammates and coaches.

"It's just Jack being Jack," said Team USA general manager Jim Johannson. "He's a true team guy who leads by his level of play and by his interaction with everyone, including his teammates, coaches, training staff and equipment guys. He handles everything in a real comfortable and mature way. It all comes natural to him."

continued

from Cathal Kelly of the Globe and Mail,

For years, people have been telling McDavid that he is a once-in-a-generation hockey talent. He’s dealt with that pressure the same way he reacts to a pushy maintenance worker – politely deferential, but in full control of the situation.

The best way to describe McDavid’s oversized bag of on-ice tricks is that he plays as if he’s spotlit.

That’s easy to do when you have the puck. McDavid commands attention even when he’s nowhere near the play.

You could spend 20 minutes watching him sit on the bench.

For the whole time he’s out there, he’s stalking, proactive and reactive all at the same time. The best comparison is Mario Lemieux’s predatory glide.

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Cox, Friedman dish NCAA-to-CHL rumors, diving chatter, trade talk and more

This Saturday, Damien Cox and Elliotte Friedman got six minutes' worth of time to discuss hockey headlines, and they stated that:

  • Boston University forward and top 2015 draft prospect Jack Eichel may or may not bolt from NCAA hockey to join a Canadian Hockey League team, with the Saint John Sea Dogs owning his rights. Cox points out that Charlie Coyle, Adam Tambellini and Sonny Milano have all committed to NCAA teams and then joined CHL teams instead, so it is possible that Eichel may be on the move after he plays for Team USA at the World Junior Championships--and BC goalie Thatcher Demko might also exit stage CHL;

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Going Where Few Have Gone

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

What sets a generational player apart from a talented or a franchise player is his impact on and off the ice. Generational players can become not just the face of a franchise, but the face of the league.

The Roy-led Canadiens in 1993 were the last Canadian team to win the Stanley Cup, a good but not great NHL team spurred on to success by a single, galvanizing star.

The Los Angeles Kings have proved in recent years you don’t necessarily need that one defining player to win a championship, but it sure helps in critical moments to have one to rally around.

Do McDavid and/or Eichel genuinely fit the bill as future generational players?

“To me, they do,” answered Craig Button, the former NHL general manager and long-time hockey scout, now a commentator for TSN. “You watch Connor McDavid; he’s electrifying. Remember when Guy Lafleur would jump over the boards and everybody in the building knew he was on the ice? Then he’d get the puck and it was like, ‘Okay, here we go.’ Well, that’s McDavid. I use this distinction carefully, but McDavid is to Eichel what Gretzky and Messier were to one another. Eichel has the power game – he can impose himself on opponents with his size, whereas with McDavid, it’s the way he skates and the way he thinks.

“When you compare these guys to players like Messier and Mario Lemieux, that’s rarefied air – and to me, they’re in rarefied air.”

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A Look At Jack Eichel

from John Buccigross of ESPN,

Jack Eichel is that classic -- often reported as extinct -- middle-class American kid. Oh, and as his BU head coach David Quinn said, "He's a physical freak with strength, vision and an NHL shot." That helps, too.

But, as we have seen many times in sports, those skills are not enough. No one does it alone.

A lava lamp's function is not to create light, but to create a mood. As your eyes fixate, the unpredictable, syrupy movements put you in a state of calmed focus. It's hard to take your eyes off it.

Boston University marked its lava lamp with a firetruck-red No. 9. There's a new kid in town.

I drove up to Boston last weekend to see and meet the kid in person. Jack Eichel is a 6-foot-1, 18-year-old buoyant blob of wax still cooling and congealing as he makes his purposeful strides toward the 2015 NHL draft in Sunrise, Florida.

Eichel's name will be the first or second called next June 26. He will hold up an NHL jersey (Buffalo's? Carolina's? Winnipeg's? Arizona's? Florida's? Toronto's?), smile and begin his NHL career soon after.

read on

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All About Jack Eichel

from Jeff Z. Klein of the New York Times,

Jack Eichel is 17 and recently began attending freshman classes at Boston University. But he will be the central figure in the N.H.L. season that begins Wednesday.

If you are not a hockey fan, you may not have heard of Eichel. Those who have seen him, though, already compare him to players like Mike Modano, Patrick Kane, Evgeni Malkin and even Mario Lemieux.

“His first two strides are as explosive as I’ve ever seen at this level,” said Jim Johannson, a USA Hockey executive since 2000.

Kevin Prendergast, an N.H.L. scout and front office executive for 30 years, said: “It’s not just his speed; it’s his skill, his hockey sense. It doesn’t even look like he’s trying, but the puck comes to him. He makes things happen.”

Ed Olczyk, who won a Stanley Cup with the Rangers in 1994, said, “His reach — I haven’t seen anything like it since Mario.”

continued

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