BUFFALO – A week and a half ago, Jack Eichel moved into Matt Moulson’s home with the veteran’s wife and two children. The family gave the rookie his own room, a bathroom and a set of “rules of the house and rules of living with them.”
“But,” Eichel said slyly, “it’s confidential.”
Eichel, the second overall pick in June, has a sweet setup with Moulson, who offered to take the 18-year-old in to help him acclimate to his new life.
“It’s a really nice house,” Eichel said today following practice. “He’s got a great family. His two kids are really sweet. His wife’s really nice. They’ve really welcomed me like I’ve lived there for a long time. Whatever I need, if it’s my laundry, dry cleaning or towels for a shower, they’re really good. I’m really happy about being there.”
This weekend, however, Eichel’s staying at a downtown hotel with the other Sabres rookies participating in the “Prospects Challenge” the team is hosting. The Sabres play the New Jersey Devils on Saturday and Boston Bruins on Monday.
More than 17,000 attended Eichel’s “debut” July 10 at the First Niagara Center, a development camp scrimmage. By then, after all of the NHL Draft hoopla, Eichel was spent. Two months later, he has recharged himself.
“It seems a lot more like hockey season,” he said. “Everyone’s a lot more dialed in, I think. It’s a little different playing in September than playing in the beginning of July. I think everyone’s trying to prepare for the season and find a role somewhere.”