It’s only fitting that with all the focus and attention on Edmonton Oilers superstar Connor McDavid and his ongoing contract negotiations, that Buffalo Sabres superstar Jack Eichel’s contract negotiations have flown under the radar. The 2nd overall selection of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft behind McDavid, concludes his entry-level contract at the conclusion of the 2017-18 season and can sign an extension as early as July 1st of this offseason.
In fact, NHL insider Pierre LeBrun is reporting that negotiations between the Eichel camp and the Sabres have already begun:
So, Sabres fans what’s a reasonable deal for Eichel? Do they go long-term with the lanky centerman? Or do they negotiate a bridge deal? The latter could be very costly in the longterm, but injuries and a weak supporting cast have prevented Eichel from showing his true value up to this point in his career. On the other hand, what if he goes on a tear in 2017-18 and becomes the superstar that everyone thinks he can be? If that’s the case, the Sabres will be smart to lock him up long term now before the price gets too high.
In any case, look for the player and the team to take negotiations slow. With the McDavid contract expected to be signed on July 1st, it’ll set an interesting precedent for Eichel’s next deal. Stay tuned.