Buffalo Sabres need to be realistic about return in a Jack Eichel trade

Mar 2, 2021; New York, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (9) stretches in warm-ups prior to a game against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Bennett-POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

Internet GM’s have been going crazy the last few days and dropping trade proposals for what they think Jack Eichel will fetch. Here’s the problem, there almost little to no chance the Buffalo Sabres are going to get anything close to that.

That means when the time comes, and it sounds like it will come this summer. Kevyn Adams is going to need to be realistic about what a return will look like.

Jack Eichel trade proposals gone wild

The talk around hockey circles is what it will take for the Rangers or the Kings to land Eichel, the #2 pick of the 2015 NHL Draft. Yes, that’s the same draft as Connor McDavid. There’s no shortage of trade proposals on the internet, but this one from ESPN Analyst John Buccigross caused a stir.

“As I said earlier,” Buccigross tweeted. “I’d require Kaapo Kakko, Braden Schneider, Chytil, a goalie and a 1st rounder. And if I’m the Rangers I make that trade in 3 seconds.”

I spoke with one NHL team executive who said there’s almost no chance for the Sabres to receive such a package. It’s also understandable why. There’s no way anyone is trading in essence 4 first rounders plus a goalie for any player not named Connor McDavid.

Jack Eichel is not going to fetch a boatload

nhl trade bait
Feb 22, 2021; Uniondale, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (9) and New York Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock (6) battle for position during the third period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

While Jack Eichel remains a hot topic, don’t expect a move at the trade deadline. The consensus from all the top insiders is that this will be an offseason deal. This was highlighted by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman recently where he also notes the trade proposals out there are “crazy”.

I know it’s white-hot in Buffalo, but I would be shocked for the above reasons if the Sabres considered a trade now. First, it’s something they have to come to grips with. Second, there simply aren’t a ton of teams in position to do it for budget or cap reasons. Things change in the off-season: contracts coming off the cap; the 10 per cent summer cushion; etc. The Rangers are an obvious exception — they could do it at any time, if they wished — although some of the proposals I’ve seen out there are kinda crazy.

31 Thoughts, Elliotte Friedman

Today, Nick Kypreos said on his Real Kyper at Noon show that people need a “reality check”. When it gets down to it, Kypreos is spot on as to what the Sabres should expect as a return.

“Honest, I can see draft picks, I can a blue chip prospect or two,” he explained. “I don’t see a boatload for Jack Eichel after six years and character flaws.”

Jack Eichel makes $10 million AAV for the next six years. That’s a big ask for teams to take on and only a few can do it. The Rangers and Kings being the most obvious. However, Kypreos doesn’t believe L.A. will part with Quinton Byfield which obviously means the Rangers won’t part with Kaapo Kakko or Alexis Lafreniere either.

At the end of the day, the Rangers could likely offer Filip Chytil, Vitali Kravtsov and a conditional first round pick for Jack Eichel. That would be a significant return for the 24 year-old center who only has two goals on the season and 15 points on the season.

Check out the entire Real Kyper at Noon show here.