Kris Baker of SabresProspects.com has submitted his annual rankings of the top 30 draft-eligible prospects. Check back each day as we prepare for the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida on June 26-27.
#2 – JACK EICHEL
|(Photo Credit: Getty Images) |
Center, Boston University (H-East)
6’2”, 194 lbs.
One of two draft eligible players tabbed as “super-prospects”, Eichel displayed the potential of a franchise centerman this past season with his dominating blend of blazing speed, dazzling stick skills and overall functional intelligence.
Eichel wowed the hockey world as an 18-year-old freshman at Boston University, torching his way to 26 goals and nation-leading 71 points in 40 games to steer the Terriers’ march to the NCAA Championship game.
The effort earned Eichel a truckload of hardware, including the Hockey East Player of the Year, First All-American Team East, and the prestigious Hobey Baker Award as the nation’s top collegiate player.
Eichel is an unselfish, do-it-all leader who is always looking to make his teammates better via his elite vision and ability to process the action in front of him rather quickly. He is extremely strong on his feet, making him tough to knock off the puck as he patiently surveys the ice for his best option.
He’s an obvious threat to split seams, sling accurate shots and run the point on the power play, but he also has the wherewithal to be the lynchpin on the top penalty-killing unit.
A product of the United States National Team Development Program, Eichel wore the U.S. jersey twice in 2014-15. He served as captain at the World Junior Championship, recording a goal and four points as the Americans fizzled out of medal contention.
After the less-than-stellar effort at the U20 level, Eichel earned redemption in May when he sparkled with seven points (2+5) in 10 games as Team USA skated to a bronze medal at the IIHF World Championship.
Eichel is a special star in the making given his delicate balance of individual moxie and team-first attitude.
His Boston University coach has referred to him as a blend of Stanley Cup winners Jeff Carter (LAK) and Ryan Getzlaf (ANA). Others see shades of past American great Mike Modano. In reality, though, he’s the first Jack Eichel and it seems that all 30 teams would love to have a player like him.
For more on all the youngsters in the Sabres pipeline, check out Kris Baker’s website, SabresProspects.com. You can also follow him on Twitter (@SabresProspects) for in-game updates throughout the week on any Buffalo
prospects that are in action.