While the eight-year, $80MM contract extension that the Sabres handed center Jack Eichel earlier this week ensures that Buffalo has their franchise player under contract for almost the next decade, it also goes a long way towards setting the market for 2016 top picks Auston Matthews (Toronto) and Patrik Laine (Winnipeg) this time one year from now. Both Matthews and Laine surpassed Eichel’s rookie season output and at least are expected to do the same with their second-year production so it’s fair to say that both players should check in past that $10MM mark while Connor McDavid’s eight-year, $100MM extension with Edmonton from the summer will represent the high end. Despite that, there’s a case to be made that Buffalo did the Leafs and Jets at least small favor by locking Eichel up now. With a more defined salary range to work with, it should be easier for GMs Lou Lamoriello and Kevin Cheveldayoff to plan around who they can keep and who may become a cost casualty. Both teams will have some tough calls to make.
Eichel Sets The Market For Matthews And Laine
Pro Hockey Rumors | Oct 7