BUFFALO -- Jack Eichel is expected to be the No. 2 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, behind Connor McDavid.
But Eichel firmly believes he is the No. 1 player in this draft, and he has been telling teams at the NHL Scouting Combine, including the Buffalo Sabres, who hold that second pick, just that.
"I'm pretty confident in my own abilities," Eichel said Friday after word of his self-assessment leaked out. "I know everyone's making a big deal that I said a comment like that; I don't think it was meant at all about ... it wasn't me comparing myself to Connor or anything like that, it was more of me thinking that I'm the best player in the draft.
"It's more of just confidence in my own self; I didn't really think it was going to be a big deal. I thought that was pretty confidential within the team, but ..."
McDavid, expected to be taken No. 1 by the Edmonton Oilers, who won the NHL Draft Lottery, was asked if he felt he was the best player in this draft class.
"That's not up for me to decide," McDavid told the Sabres website. "I think a lot of people do a lot of talking and they'll judge for their own eyes. I believe in my abilities and that's the main thing. But if I feel I'm the best player in the draft, I'm not sure. Maybe you'll hear a different answer from Jack. But, we'll see."