Buffalo Sabres: How much should Jack Eichel earn from new deal?

NEWARK, NJ - FEBRUARY 06: Jack Eichel
NEWARK, NJ - FEBRUARY 06: Jack Eichel /

With the Buffalo Sabres reportedly negotiating a new eight-year contract with Jack Eichel, how much does he deserve per season?

Even during the offseason, there’s always something interesting to report about with the Buffalo Sabres. And the latest report is arguably the most interesting of all.

As per CBC Sports, a person familiar with negotiations has told The Associated Press the Sabres and Jack Eichel are discussing a contract extension. The deal is expected to be for the NHL maximum of eight years.

None of this should come as any surprise to Sabres fans, as Eichel is undoubtedly the long-term face of the franchise. His rookie campaign was impressive enough, but last season he almost averaged a point per game, with 57 in 61 appearances.

However, it’s about more than just simple points production with the 20-year-old, who has significant upside. His offensive talents are exceptional and he makes everyone around him better. (Think Sam Reinhart specifically.)

Having said all this, how much can — or more to the point, should — Eichel expect to make over the course of his new deal? You know he compares himself favorably to Connor McDavid, but even the most hardcore Sabres fans will admit he is second-best to the Edmonton Oilers captain.

McDavid himself recently signed a new deal, with will pay him an average salary of $12.5 million. After that, as noted by CBC SportsCarey Price, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews all earn $10.5 million per season.

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In terms of Eichel, it will come down to balancing his dual ambition of wanting to be paid extremely well and actually winning on the ice. One thing we do know, is he will become the highest-paid player on the team, surpassing the $7.5 million Ryan O’Reilly averages per season.

Some suggestions have the 2015 second overall draft pick earning as high as $10 million per season. However, we believe he won’t go this high, simply because the team still needs to improve their overall depth, as they attempt to end a playoff drought which current stands at six years.

However, we would also be surprised if Eichel goes as low as $8 million per season. Pure and simple — and this is based on nothing more than an educated guess — he will likely agree a deal of around $9 million per season, giving him a $72 million, eight-year deal.

Overall, it will be interesting to see how the negotiations pan out, with a deal likely finalized before the start of training camp. Further, the figures of the new contract will tell us a lot about Eichel’s ambitions for both himself and the Sabres.

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Understandably, Eichel wants to earn as much as possible over the next eight years. However, if he’s playing it smart and thinking of team success, how much do you believe he should accept per season? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.