Jack Eichel said Friday was emotional. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Jack Eichel thrilled to be drafted by Sabres: ‘I wanted to be a part of this’

SUNRISE, Fla. – For more than two months, Jack Eichel wouldn’t say much about his future. Of course, the 18-year-old knew the Buffalo Sabres would select him second overall at the NHL Draft. But the Boston University superstar played it cool, saying things like “if the Sabres draft him.”

But deep down, Eichel had a special feeling about the Sabres. He felt a warm welcome from the community and fans when the Sabres hosted the ... Read the full article

Ryan O'Reilly might get a new contract soon. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres send strong message with big trades at NHL Draft

SUNRISE, Fla. – If the Buffalo Sabres win the Stanley Cup someday, remember Friday as the perhaps one of the most pivotal days in the franchise’s 45-year history.

In addition to drafting center Jack Eichel second overall, the rebuilding team swung two significant trades, including a blockbuster deal with the Colorado Avalanche that brought center Ryan O’Reilly to Buffalo.

After two wretched seasons in which they finished 30th and became the NHL’s laughingstock, the ... Read the full article

Robin Lehner has a history with Tim Murray. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres believe goalie Robin Lehner worth high price

SUNRISE, Fla. – Parting with the 21st pick in a deep NHL Draft wasn’t easy for Tim Murray. With the Buffalo Sabres locked into picking Jack Eichel second overall Friday, the general manager recently told his scouts to focus on the team’s other first-round pick.

Murray wanted them to go deep and dig into those prospects.

But the Sabres desperately needed a goalie for next season. Murray had choices. Plenty of established ones – ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel talks after getting drafted. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Jack Eichel felt like he was part of Sabres for long time

SUNRISE, Fla. – For more than two months, Jack Eichel wouldn’t say much about his future. Of course, the 18-year-old knew the Buffalo Sabres would select him second overall at the NHL Draft. But the Boston University superstar played it cool, saying things like “if the Sabres draft him.”

But deep down, Eichel had a special feeling about the Sabres. He felt a warm welcome from the community and fans when the Sabres hosted the ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel must decide whether to turn pro or stay in college. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres draft Jack Eichel

SUNRISE, Fla. – After more than two months of waiting, Jack Eichel is officially property of the Buffalo Sabres.

The rebuilding team selected the 18-year-old Boston University center second overall tonight at the NHL Draft inside the BB&T Center.

Stay tuned for updates. Eichel could announce soon if he’ll turn pro or return to college.... Read the full article

Jack Eichel (left) with Chris Masters, his Jr. Bruins coach. ©2015, Chris Masters

Dedication helped Jack Eichel become elite talent

SUNRISE, Fla. – In the beginning, Jack Eichel’s development was slow. The greatest hockey prospect the United States has produced in perhaps a quarter century was simply a very talented child, one of the best around New England at 8 or 9 years old.

But he wasn’t a phenom.

“Since he was little, it’s been a slow progression from a very good player to an elite in his area, in New England and the USA ... Read the full article

Dan Bylsma's team has 10 afternoon home games. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ 2015-16 schedule features early home games, new strategy

SUNRISE, Fla. – If slick center Jack Eichel joins the NHL next season, Buffalo fans will get a long look at the second overall pick October. The Sabres open the season with three straight home games for the first time in 40 years.

That’s just one highlight of the 2015-16 schedule the NHL released Thursday.

Six of the opening eight games are at the First Niagara Center, so Eichel, the phenom the Sabres will select ... Read the full article

The Sabres will select Jack Eichel second overall Friday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Jack Eichel close to deciding future

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Jack Eichel’s close to deciding whether to turn pro and join the Buffalo Sabres or return to Boston University. In fact, don’t be surprised if the 18-year-old center announces his decision Friday night at the podium after he’s selected second overall at the NHL Draft inside the BB&T Center.

Heck, Eichel sounded ready to share his decision tonight during a pre-draft news conference. He’s clearly tired of the speculation and wants ... Read the full article

Dan Bylsma returns to Pittsburgh on Oct. 29. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

2015-16 Sabres schedule has interesting dates, new wrinkles

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Before I run to catch a cab to switch hotels, here are some highlights from the 2015-16 Buffalo Sabres schedule the NHL released this morning.

– The Sabres, and perhaps the Jack Eichel era, open Oct. 8 at home against the Ottawa Senators at the First Niagara Center. They open with a season-high three-game home stand, one of seven on the schedule. The Sabres also don’t have a road trip more ... Read the full article

Zemgus Girgensons could have a long career with the Sabres. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ recent drafts have yielded mixed results

SUNRISE, Fla. – How good have the Buffalo Sabres drafted in recent years? Judge for yourself below.

Since most drafts don’t start paying dividends for a few years, here’s a look at the Sabres’ selections from 2007-12 and some notable hits and misses. Sixteen of Buffalo’s 45 draft choices over that time – 36 percent – have made the NHL.

The Sabres have eight picks at this weekend’s NHL Draft, including the No. 2 selection, ... Read the full article