There was little doubt whom the Buffalo Sabres would select with the second overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.
The team on Friday evening welcomed Boston University forward Jack Eichel to Buffalo. Eichel was taken after the Edmonton Oilers chose Connor McDavid, the other highly-touted "once in a generation" talent from this year's crop of young players.
General Manager Tim Murray was succinct in announcing the pick from Sunrise, Florida, using just four words: "Buffalo selects Jack Eichel."
Eichel, 18, won the Hobey Baker Award as the top U.S. men's college hockey player this past season as a freshman. He compiled 26 goals and 71 points in 40 games for the Terriers, who lost to Providence in the Frozen Four final in April.
The Massachusetts native was considered the second best prospect in the draft by every major scouting organization. Most say he would be a number one overall pick almost any other year.
The Sabres drew the second pick in the NHL Draft Lottery after finishing in last place for a second consecutive season. They were guaranteed no worse than the second selection after a season many considered to be a "tank." The team has since hired new head coach Dan Bylsma and, on Friday, acquired their projected starting goaltender, Robin Lehner, from Ottawa and star forward Ryan O'Reilly in a trade with the Coloradio Avalanche.
Eichel still has a choice to make, whether to go pro or stay in college. It is believed if he entered the NHL, he would be a starting player from Day One. He was coy in speaking to a reporter on live TV Friday evening, saying he would announce his decision in a few days.