The leaders of the Buffalo Sabres and Toronto Maple Leafs
(8) Jack Eichel – BUF (Age: 23/Cap Hit: $10.0M/6 Years Left)
Jack Eichel has been one of the few bright spots for the Buffalo Sabres since being selected second overall in 2015. Over five seasons, the Massachusets native has posted a gaudy 337 points in 354 games.
Eichel has been everything he touted to be since joining the Sabres from Boston University. He is the face of the franchise and the captain of the team.
Unfortunately, we have not been able to see what Eichel can do in the playoffs as the team has failed to surround him with enough talent to make a postseason run,
His 2019-20 season was the best yet, as Eichel had a career-high in goals (36) and notched 78 points in just 68 contests. Eichel has six more years left on a deal that pays him $10 million annually. If Buffalo can add some talent to help Eichel, he will be a joy to watch in playoff hockey.
(7) Auston Matthews – TOR (Age: 23/Cap Hit $11.634M/4 Years Left)
As the Maple Leafs top pick in 2016, Auston Matthews has more than justified his first overall selection. In four NHL seasons, Matthews has piled up 158 goals and 285 points in 282 career games.
Matthews spent a year in Switzerland before joining the Maple Leafs and then stormed the league with 40 goals in his rookie season, including four in his debut against the Senators. That effort was good enough to earn Matthews the Calder Trophy.
The Arizona native has not slowed down since that rookie season and had his best season as a pro in 2019-20, where he had career-highs in goals (47) and points (80). This came during the shortened season in which he played just 70 games.
Matthews has an interesting contract in that he is only signed for four more seasons at $11.634 million annually. He will be due another whopping payday when he presumably will just be hitting his prime at age 27.