Weight: 205 lbs.
2014-15 Team: Boston University (NCAA)
Acquired: Drafted in the 1st round (2nd overall) in the 2015 draft
Last year's ranking: N/A
Are you surprised? You shouldn't be. Eichel right now is arguably already one of the three most valuable players in franchise history.
If you don't know what Eichel brings to the table or how important he is to the Buffalo Sabres, you've likely been living under a rock or are new here. Hello! Welcome to Die By The Blade. I'm the less important Jack in this article. Thanks for checking us out!
Eichel won the Hobey Baker as the top player in the NCAA. He led the college ranks in scoring, earning him the Hockey East Conference Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year Awards. He was also named USA Hockey's top collegiate player as well.
Craig Button has said that Eichel would have gone first in any other draft since Sidney Crosby. That includes Steven Stamkos and John Tavares. He's no consolation prize. Our draft profile on Eichel shows how highly he is thought of in the hockey community.
At this point, anything I could say about Eichel is redundant. He's Buffalo's golden boy already, hula hooping in Larkin Square, taking pictures at Bills games, winning prospect tournaments. He was unanimously chosen as the top player on this list. It was the easiest thing to do in the whole ranking.
Eichel is the top center of the future, something any team needs to be great. He has the ceiling to be an absolute superstar in the NHL. He's the reason fans were cheering when the Coyotes scored in Buffalo. He's the reason Mark Pysyk spent the entire season in Rochester, despite being better than at least half the Sabres defensemen. He's the reason fans were at each other's throats, arguing the merits and ethicality of tanking for months.
The Sabres second overall pick hasn't even taken the ice yet for an official game, but it's safe to say, it was all worth it.