Steven Ryan/Getty Images
The Buffalo Sabres announced on Tuesday night they signed young superstar Jack Eichel to an eight-year contract extension worth $10 million per year.
Buffalo Sabres @BuffaloSabres
🚨 We’ve agreed to terms with @Jack_Eichel11 on an 8-year extension with an AAV of $10 million. https://t.co/9L8hLcVFzP
Eichel, 20, has been fantastic for the Sabres in his first two seasons, notching 48 goals and 65 assists in 142 games. His 57 points last season surpassed his rookie total by one point, albeit in 20 fewer games, as he suffered a high ankle sprain that cost him the first 21 games of the season.
He was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft behind Connor McDavid. While Eichel hasn’t been as transcendent as McDavid, who notched 30 goals and 70 assists last season alone, he’s been one of the brightest stars from a strong draft class that has also seen players like Mitch Marner and Zach Werenski post impressive seasons in 2016-17.
Eichel is the centerpiece of a young Buffalo team that appears to be at least a season or two from making a playoff run but has some young and veteran pieces in place and should show improvement this season. With a new general manager in Jason Botterill, a new head coach in Phil Housley and a slew of new players, there likely will be an adjustment period for the Sabres.
One certainty, however, is that Eichel remains the team’s most important player and a potential superstar in the NHL.