NHL News: Jack Eichel looking to avoid neck surgery, Auston Matthews out with injury, and Maple Leafs draft pick Rodion Amirov

The Buffalo Sabres announced yesterday that Jack Eichel would miss the remainder of the season due to a herniated disc in his neck. Today, Kevyn Adams met with the media to introduce associate GM Jason Karmanos and provide some additional updates.

Jack Eichel hoping extended rehab will avoid surgery

Adams gave some details that Eichel saw some improvement with rehab but not enough to come back to play. The decision to shut him down was made by the Sabres and Jack Eichel’s camp. Buffalo’s captain is looking to avoid surgery by continuing to rehab his neck. The two sides will meet again in May to review progress and then determine if he will require surgery.

Regardless, Eichel is expected to make a full recovery and be ready to play next season.

Auston Matthews aggravates already injured wrist; out tonight

auston matthews injury
Feb 18, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews (34) is greeted by forward Joe Thornton (97) after scoring against Ottawa Senators in the first period at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL’s leading goal scorer will be out of action tonight as it appears he’s aggravated his wrist injury. “We’re not expecting it to be something that’s going to hold him out for long,” head coach Sheldon Keefe said of Auston Matthews.

Toronto’s star center leads the Rocket Richard race with 32 goals. Mikko Rantanen is just behind him with 26 and a legit threat to catch Matthews. Hopefully he can return quickly and we can all watch an exciting conclusion to the goal scoring race.

Maple Leafs sign 2020 first round pick

The Maple Leafs announced the signing of their 2020 first round pick, 15th overall Rodion Amirov to his ELC.

Per the Maple Leafs website:

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced today that the hockey club has signed forward Rodion Amirov to a three-year entry level contract for the 2021-22 season. As his season with Ufa is now complete, Amirov will be joining the Marlies and Maple Leafs development program after visa and quarantine requirements are met. 

“Our Club is pleased to have Rodion formally signed today. We look forward to welcoming Rodion to Canada in the coming weeks and having him begin working with our player development staff in Toronto,” said Maple Leafs General Manager Kyle Dubas. “We also look forward to continuing to work with Ufa with his development next season. Ufa has done an excellent job guiding Rodion’s development as a player to date and we are excited to work very closely with them through the summer and into the future.”