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Eichel, Sabres discussing potential max extension: report

20-year-old center could get eight-year contract, can become restricted free agent after this season

NHL.com @NHL

Center Jack Eichel and the Buffalo Sabres are discussing a contract extension that could be up to eight years, The Associated Press reported Wednesday.

The 20-year-old is scheduled to become a restricted free agent after this season. He became eligible to sign an extension July 1.

Sabres owner Terry Pegula declined to comment on the status of negotiations Wednesday except to say no deadline has been set and that the two sides are committed to reaching an agreement, according to the AP.

"I can tell you this, we want Jack and Jack wants to be in Buffalo," Pegula said at Buffalo Bills training camp in Rochester, New York. Pegula also owns the NFL team.

In April, Eichel told The Buffalo News: "I want to be here for a long time. That's the way I look at it. I don't want to go anywhere else. I don't want anybody to think that I want to be somewhere else. ... I want to be a Sabre and I want to be a Sabre for a long time and I want to be a part of Buffalo when we win. I know it's an organization that is capable of doing that, and I want to be a part of it and I want to be a centerpiece of it."

Video: TOR@BUF: Eichel pots backhand goal on breakaway

Eichel after last season denied a report that he had no desire to sign an extension with the Sabres if Dan Bylsma remained coach. Bylsma was fired April 20, and Phil Housley was hired June 15.

Eichel had 57 points (24 goals, 33 assists) in 61 games last season; he missed about two months at the start with an ankle injury. He was the No. 2 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, behind Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid.

Eichel is entering the final season of his three-year, entry-level contract, with an NHL salary-cap charge of $925,000.

McDavid, 20, signed an eight-year, $100 million contract extension ($12.5 million average annual value) with the Oilers on July 5.

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