Report: Jack Eichel and Buffalo Sabres in talks on eight-year deal

BUFFALO, NY - APRIL 05: Jack Eichel
BUFFALO, NY - APRIL 05: Jack Eichel /

Reports are surfacing that Jack Eichel and the Buffalo Sabres are in talks to finalize an eight-year deal, with no known numbers in regards to what the cap hit could be.

The Associated Press reported today that Jack Eichel and the Buffalo Sabres are in talks on a new eight-year deal. Eichel is currently heading into the final season of this three-year entry, $11.325 million entry-level contract given to him by the Sabres after they drafted him second overall in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.

Since arriving in Buffalo, Eichel has proven to be one of the best young players in the NHL. In his first season in the NHL, 2015-16, he had 24 goals and 32 assists. And while he missed the first 21 games last season due to injury, he was still able to top his rookie numbers with 24 goals and 33 assists in just 61 games.

While it isn’t set in stone that this deal will be finalized immediately, this shows intent on both sides to avoid negotiations next summer when Eichel is set to become a restricted free agent. And while the Sabres currently only have $8.5 million in cap space, they have seven names becoming unrestricted free agents next summer and another four, including Eichel, becoming restricted free agents. This will allow them the ability to pay Eichel big money for 2018-19 and still wiggle their way under the cap ceiling quite easily.

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Aside from his 113 points in 142 games, the analytics point to Eichel’s relative effectiveness as well. While his 0.39 Relative Corsi-For percentage, 10th on the Sabres roster, isn’t anything to write home about, anything in the positive range is acceptable. Along with that, the Rel.CF% last season also shows the upswing in his game from his rookie season when he posted a -1.35, good for only 13th on the Sabres roster.

The analytics might not make the case, but the proof is in the pudding and Jack Eichel is very likely going to get paid big bucks by the Buffalo Sabres.