One of the fun parts of the NHL Offseason is the speculation about signings and trades. This year, one of the biggest names potentially on the trade market is star Buffalo Sabres forward, Jack Eichel. The young star has voiced his discontent with his current team. Because of this, plenty of hockey fans are wondering where he may be in 2021-2022.
How Eichel got here
Jack Eichel grew up North Chelmsford, Massachusetts, growing up watching the Bruins. After excelling in the US Hockey Development Program, he would go onto play college hockey at Boston University. While only playing a year at BU, he made a huge impact for the team. His performance also was not going unnoticed by NHL scouts which earned him top billing in the 2015 NHL Draft along with fellow prodigy, Connor McDavid.
Jack Eichel would be drafted 2nd overall in 2015 to the Buffalo Sabres. The Sabres had been a team on the downward spiral at this point, they hoped that drafting Eichel might turn this around. This was not the case. Despite the Sabres naming Eichel captain, the team would routinely be fighting for the 1st overall pick in the draft. This situation has not left Jack Eichel very happy.
A chance for Boston?
A no-movement-clause will begin on Jack Eichel’s contract starting in the 22-23 NHL season. This means that if Eichel is going to be traded, he would be traded this offseason. Could the Bruins be one of the teams to jump on this opportunity? The idea of bringing a local born star player in to Boston could be very enticing for the Bruins’ front office.
With Bruins’ 2nd line centreman David Krejci at the end of his contract, there potentially could be a vacant hole in that slot for the 21-22 season. Currently, Jack Eichel has an $8 million a year salary which is a considerable amount. But according to CapFriendly.com, the Bruins will have about $31.3 million in cap space this offseason. While his contract would be a large cap-hit, the Bruins can theoretically afford it.
Will the Bruins make an offer?
Realistically, the Bruins will not make an offer for Eichel. While Jack Eichel would be a welcome addition to any team, the Bruins are not exactly in the market for star second line centers. One of the major issues the Bruins faced in 2021 was their defensive depth. The Bruins right now would be more inclined to add defensive depth over offensive depth.
David Krejci’s may be up this offseason, but that does not mean the Bruins do not want him back. Boston most likely will be able to get Krejci for almost a quarter of what Eichel is worth. That would then give the Bruins more space to re-sign players like forward Taylor Hall and defenseman Brandon Carlo.
The Bruins also do not have much to offer for Eichel. Boston right now cannot afford to give up young players, prospects and draft picks with an aging core like theirs. For now, it does not seem like Eichel will return to his hometown anytime soon.
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