Buffalo Sabres: Is Jack Eichel worthy of his new deal?

BUFFALO, NY - MARCH 2: Jack Eichel
BUFFALO, NY - MARCH 2: Jack Eichel /

The Buffalo Sabres have ensured Jack Eichel won’t be going anywhere for a long time, after signing him to a eight-year extension worth $80 million.

What a difference 12 months makes. This time last year, the Buffalo Sabres were preparing to begin the regular season without Jack Eichel, who suffered a severe high ankle sprain during practice.

This season couldn’t be more different, and not just because Eichel is fit and raring to go. Actually, scrub that; he won’t be going anywhere.

As reported by WGR 550’s Paul Hamilton, the Sabres have ensured their young superstar will be around in Buffalo for a long time. Eichel has signed a eight-year contract extension, worth $80 million.

The new deal will not kick in until the 2018/19 campaign. This season represents the final year of the 20-year-old’s entry-level contract, which is worth $925,000 but can go up to as much as $3.7 million, with bonuses.

Eichel had said all along he was not going to leave and even indicated he wouldn’t be worried, if a new deal was not negotiated before the regular season started. Regardless, everyone concerned will be happy contract talks can now be put to rest.

In that respect, Hamilton reported the 2015 second overall draft pick was apparently looking for $11.5 million per season. In the end, he settled for $10 million, but is he worth it?

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In theory, you could make an argument the price is still slightly high. However, the truth of the matter is the Buffalo Sabres had little alternative but to pay Eichel big money.

Certainly, the 2015 Hobey Baker Award winner is one of the game’s brightest young talents; someone who should dominate the NHL for the next decade. He may not be quite on the same level as Connor McDavid, but there’s no shame in that.

Eichel is still an extremely talented player, who will help the Sabres return to the playoffs sooner than later. His offensive skill set is off the charts and once he matures, he’s going to take his game to another level.

There is some speculation Eichel will also be named captain, which we don’t actually agree with. (It should be Ryan O’Reilly.) Regardless, the Sabres will hold a press conference on Wednesday, to discuss the contract extension.

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What’s your take on the amount of money spent, to secure Eichel’s long-term future with the Buffalo Sabres? Too much, too little or just about right? Further, do you believe he should be captain this season? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.