Sabres hoping to lock up Jack Eichel

OTTAWA, ON - NOVEMBER 29: Buffalo Sabres Center Jack Eichel (15) prepares for the faceoff during first period National Hockey League action between the Buffalo Sabres and Ottawa Senators on November 29, 2016, at Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, ON, Canada. (Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire)
Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire

Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel is entering the final season of his three-year, entry-level deal. As one of the premier young forwards in the league and teeming with the potential to become one of the faces of the NHL, Eichel could be locked up sooner than later, according to Sabres general manager Jason Botterill.

The Sabres front office executive has already been in contact with Eichel’s agent, Peter Fish, and word is, it could be an eight-year deal.

“It’s a situation where both parties really would like to get a deal done and we continue to be very cordial in our discussions,” Botterill said, per NHL.com.”It has to be a situation where both groups are very comfortable with where the number is and where the term is and are excited about continuing this relationship moving forward.

“I think you’ve seen [Eichel’s] comments; he’s focused on the season, focused on coming into training camp. We’ve been interacting with him, and it’s been fun and we’re really looking forward to getting on the ice with him.”

Eichel was the No. 2 pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft right after the Edmonton  Oilers won the Connor McDavid sweepstakes. The 20-year-old Sabres forward totaled 56 points across 24 goals and 32 assists over 81 contests in his rookie season, then whipped another 24-goal campaign to go along with 33 assists last season despite missing 21 regular-season games.

“It’s an important deal for the organization and an important deal for Jack,” Botterill said. “I will say is that I still think the conversations are very cordial and very positive and when you have both parties wanting to get a deal done, I do believe eventually a deal will get done.”

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