Jack Eichel, the Buffalo Sabres star forward, says he's looking forward to being apart of the city for years to come. The 20-year-old Eichel, and his boss, met with reporters in Key Bank Center Wednesday after agreeing to a contract extension that makes him the highest paid Sabre in team history.
Eichel and the Sabres have agreed to an 8-year $80 million contract extension.
"It's a lot of money. And I'm just really grateful and humbled that the organization, obviously the Pegula family, and the entire city, put their trust in me like that. And it means a lot to me and my family to be sitting here today accepting this offer," Eichel said.
It won't take effect until the 2018-2019 season. But Eichel says it was important for him to reach a long term deal before Thursday night's season opener.
"I think being able to get it done is great. It shows the commitment from both sides. And I couldn't be happier about it," Eichel said.
He led the team with 57 points last season, even though he missed the first 21 games due to an injury. In announcing the deal, Sabres General Manager Jason Botterill said, it's very a proud moment for the entire organization.
"The fact that Jack will now be apart of our organization here in Buffalo, for the next nine years, sets our organization up for success," Botterill said.
But he says the Sabres will not be naming a team captain before the season starts.
"We're very comfortable with our leadership group right now that we have here. And Jack's a big part of it. We also don't need Jack to take over the room. Or take over an organization. And to be honest I don't think that happens very often anymore. I think successful teams have a collaborative model," Botterill said.
Eichel says it's an exciting time to be a Buffalo Sabre. The season opener is Thursday night, at home, against the Montreal Canadiens.