Buffalo Sabres: Jack Eichel trade talks picking up steam

Jack Eichel #9 of the Buffalo Sabres. (Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images)
Jack Eichel #9 of the Buffalo Sabres. (Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images) /

Could we finally see the Buffalo Sabres pull the trigger on a Jack Eichel trade? It appears that talks have been intensifying and that could mean a potential blockbuster that will have significant ramifications.

NHL insider Pierre LeBrun reported that trade talks with the Sabres and potential suitors for Eichel are getting more intense and serious. It appears the urgency in the discussions is centred around the fact that general manager Kevyn Adams is looking to get a first-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft.

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What’s even more interesting is hearing which teams have labelled as potential suitors as LeBrun mentions the Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild, Anaheim Ducks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers. That’s quite a list of teams that will need to be narrowed down sooner rather than later.

To no surprise, none of the teams in the Atlantic Division have been listed as a potential landing destination despite the Boston Bruins being brought up in the past. You get the sense that the Western Conference would be the preference if you’re Buffalo but you can’t pass up on the best offer even if it’s from a team that’s in the East.

Buffalo definitely cannot just rely on draft picks as the return in a deal for Eichel considering the team is giving up a bonafide superstar centre. They likely won’t get one in return but maybe what they get in return can be used to land one in another deal?

It will be interesting to see what direction the Sabres decide to go in considering a potential Eichel trade would signal a step back in many ways. At the same, we have seen teams improve in unlikely situations and Buffalo can’t take their fans for granted anymore.

Buffalo Sabres: What should the return be in potential a Jack Eichel trade?

The Sabres could easily get another top pick in this draft considering some of the teams in the top 10 would rather find immediate solutions.

Considering Eichel has enough term on his deal to make this a worthwhile addition for the team that’s acquiring him, Buffalo should be trying to finesse their way to get some established pieces too.

The Sabres will likely need to take a contract or two back in order to make the salaries work and teams have to consider the expansion draft too. Buffalo could see if a team has a goalie that’s either close or ready to make the jump to the NHL, a top-four defenceman and potentially a top-six winger which should be at the top of their wishlist.

What the Sabres want to avoid is a one-for-one or lessening their return because they were offered multiple picks. Look at the Kings who could include their first-rounder and players like Alex Turcotte, Tobias Bjornfot and Alex Iafallo.

They won’t get the best player in a deal but if they cover enough areas of concern, Buffalo can feel more at ease with trading a star player.

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Do you expect the Sabres to trade Eichel before the 2021 NHL Draft? What can they expect in return? Let us know in the comments before.