Sabres working on locking up Eichel with eight-year deal
PITTSFORD, N.Y. — A person familiar with negotiations tells The Associated Press the Buffalo Sabres and Jack Eichel are discussing a contract extension that could run the National Hockey League maximum eight years.
The person spoke on the condition of anonymity on Wednesday because the talks have been private since formal negotiations began.
Eichel, 20, has one season remaining on the entry-level contract he signed after being selected with the second pick in the 2015 draft — one spot behind Connor McDavid. Eichel will only be eligible to become a restricted free agent whose rights can be retained by the Sabres next summer, though teams often prefer locking up their young stars before that happens.
Eichel is coming off a season in which he had a team-leading 57 points and finished second with 24 goals in 61 games, missing the first two months with a sprained left ankle.
A fraction of a point separated him from collecting a $2-million bonus by just missing out on finishing among the NHL’s top 10 in pointsper-game production. Eichel finished 11th by averaging 0.934 points per game. He was edged out by Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl (10th, 77 points, 0.939 average).
Jack Eichel: 57 points in 61 games