Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel ranked 37th on the second installment of NHL Network’s five-part countdown show Top 50 Players Right Now last night, ranking the best players in the National Hockey League.
Eichel, who made his debut on the second annual countdown, finished one spot ahead of the Winnipeg Jets’ Blake Wheeler and one spot behind 2016 Lady Byng Memorial Trophy and Frank J. Selke Trophy winner Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings.
NHL Network’s Jamison Coyle and 9-year NHL veteran Ryan Whitney continued the countdown of the best players based on their performance over the past several seasons, with an emphasis on the 2016-2017 season. The ranking also weighted players’ projected performance in the 2017-2018 season, taking into account those returning from injury and expectant breakout seasons from young players.
On last night’s countdown, Whitney said of Eichel -
“He’s got that kind of different-looking skating stride. It’s very long and he doesn’t necessarily look that fast on TV, but you’ll see him just constantly blowing by guys. He’s got the long stride, he’s got great hands and a quick release. He loves the game, he works hard, and he’s just someone that’s gonna be a future star in this league.”
Sabres fans will disagree that there are 36 players in the NHL this season better than Eichel, as will his representatives as talks are continuing on the player’s long term deal.
Will the center prove his detractors wrong and put together an 80+ point season this year for Buffalo? (For reference, only seven players went over 80 points last season, and only five in each of the two seasons before that. )
How many regular season points will Jack Eichel score this season? (scaled for 82 games)
This poll is closed
Under 60 pts
Over 80 pts