Sabres cen­ter Eichel sprains an­kle

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS -

BUF­FALO, N.Y. >> Buf­falo Sabres top-line cen­ter Jack Eichel is out in­def­i­nitely af­ter be­ing di­ag­nosed with a high an­kle sprain on Wed­nes­day.

The Sabres pro­vided the up­date hours af­ter Eichel was hurt in the team’s fi­nal prac­tice be­fore it opens the reg­u­lar sea­son host­ing Mon­treal on Thursday.

“As of now, no timetable has been set for his re­turn,” the team posted on its Twit­ter ac­count.

Eichel was in front of the net when he got tan­gled up with a de­fense­man and his leg buck­led be­neath him .

He lay on the ice and grabbed his leg in pain as the team cir­cled around him. Eichel was un­able to put any weight on his leg as team­mates helped him off the ice.

The in­jury oc­curred with less than 10 min­utes re­main­ing in prac­tice, Bylsma said.

“It’s the cusp and eve of start­ing a new sea­son, one we are all look­ing for­ward too, and I think that’s why it takes the wind out of the sails of the arena to­day,” coach Dan Bylsma said.

Eichel is key to the Sabres fu­ture af­ter be­ing se­lected with the No. 2 pick in the 2015 draft. He is com­ing off a solid rookie sea­son in which he had 24 goals and 32 as­sists for 56 points in 81 games last year.

Eichel played one year at Bos­ton Univer­sity and be­came the sec­ond fresh­man to win col­lege hockey’s top honor, the Hobey Baker Award.

“You ex­pect to have to deal with in­juries through­out the year,” Bylsma said. “It’s one we are go­ing to have to deal with, what­ever the ex­tent of the sit­u­a­tion is. Our team is not just Jack Eichel, it’s not just Ryan O’Reilly.”

O’Reilly, the Sabres’ cap­tain, par­tic­i­pated in his first full prac­tice Wed­nes­day since he ex­pe­ri­enced mus­cle spasms dur­ing his pre­sea­son de­but last week. “He looked good out there,” Bylsma said.

For­ward Kyle Ok­poso did not prac­tice due to a bruised knee. Bal­sam said he ex­pects Ok­poso to par­tic­i­pate in a morn­ing skate Thursday, but he is un­likely to play in the opener.

Ok­poso signed a sev­enyear, $42 mil­lion con­tract with the Sabres in July af­ter eight sea­sons with the New York Is­landers, be­com­ing Buf­falo’s sec­ond­high­est-paid player, af­ter O’Reilly, who signed a seven-year, $52 mil­lion deal shortly af­ter be­ing ac­quired in a trade from Colorado last sum­mer.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.