The Buffalo Sabres are getting calls from teams looking to trade for their captain, Jack Eichel, according to Darren Dreger of TSN.
Eichel is one of several Sabres players drawing interest from around the league, and conversations are expected to increase heading toward the draft, which gets underway July 23.
The centerman missed most of the 2020-21 season after suffering a herniated disk in his neck, finishing the year with just two goals and 16 assists in 21 games. Buffalo suffered without him and ended the season with the fewest points in the NHL (37).
After 10 years without a postseason appearance, the Sabres could be looking at another rebuild, especially after landing the No. 1 pick of this year's draft. Moving Eichel could help the process, as trading him should bring back a nice haul of assets.
The 24-year-old has proved to be a quality talent when healthy, contributing 139 goals and 216 assists since being drafted No. 2 overall in 2015. He had 82 points in 77 games in 2018-19 and 78 points in 68 games during the shortened 2019-20 campaign.
Eichel finished eighth in voting for the Hart Trophy last season despite playing for a team with a losing record.
A trade could give him a chance to shine for a contender and take the next step toward superstardom.
He already gave indication in May that he is ready for a move based on how his injury was handled this season, per Greg Wyshynski of ESPN:
"I've been a bit upset about the ways things have been handled since I've been hurt. I'd be lying to say that things have moved smoothly since my injury. There's been a bit of a disconnect between myself and the organization. It's been tough at times. Right now, for me, the most important thing is just trying to get healthy, figure out a way to be available to play hockey next year, wherever that might be."
Eichel apparently wanted to get surgery to fix his neck injury, but the team decided against it. Though he is signed through the 2025-26 season, a split could be coming this offseason.