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Eichel has busy day on eve of prospect game

by Mike G. Morreale

BUFFALO -- Boston University center Jack Eichel, a likely top-two pick at the 2015 NHL Draft, concluded a busy nine-hour day Wednesday that included various interview requests, a press conference, a USA Hockey Twitter takeover and a video shoot with NHL Network.

He took it all in stride and now is looking forward to doing what he does best Thursday in the third annual CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game at First Niagara Center (7 p.m. ET, NHL Network).

"I expect this year to be enjoyable for me and my family and my friends," Eichel said. "I've worked pretty hard in my life for this opportunity to potentially get drafted. It's an exciting time and I'm just going to try to enjoy the ride and make sure that I work hard every day to try to make myself better. It's an exciting time and it only happens once, so you've got to make sure you're enjoying it."

Eichel also is going to enjoy having another opportunity to play for the United States at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship in Montreal and Toronto beginning Dec. 26. He earned a spot on the 2014 U.S. WJC team and had five points in five games.

"Playing at the World Junior tournament was a great experience last year and I learned so much from being around the older guys, and I picked up a lot of habits," Eichel said. "You're around guys like Stefan Matteau and Connor Carrick. Those are guys that play in the NHL and they're pros so you can pick up little things that they do and their habits. It was a great experience."

Eichel is hoping the team can improve on last year's fifth-place finish.

"It wasn't the outcome that we wanted, but that's going to happen because you can't win every year," he said. "This year I think we have really high hopes for our team. We had a really good summer camp and I'm really excited about the group. I think all the guys are really good guys and we have a good core. I think from the goalies out we have a really good team and we're excited to get things going."


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