Jack Eichel hasn't really been in the media much this NHL offseason. Part of that is certainly because the Buffalo Sabres haven't been active in signing many big contracts. They did sign Nathan Beaulieu late in July to a $4.8M deal for two years according to Spotrac. Furthermore, the Sabres also signed goalie Robin Lehner to a one-year deal a little over a week ago. However, the Sabres and Eichel are reportedly working on a long-term deal that would see the young star stay in Buffalo for up to eight years.

Eichel almost had a point per game

Eichel spent part of last season injured. However, he still played about 75% of the season, and his stats were good. He almost averaged about a point per game with 24 goals and 33 assists in 61 appearances. He went -13 for plus/minus, and there might be some food for thought there as he was the fourth-worst Sabre from that statistical point of view. However, plus/minus itself is a mixture of a lot of variables.

Eichel, who was drafted second after Connor McDavid two years ago, is considered to be one of the best young stars in the NHL.

Eichel is entering his third year of his entry-level contract, one that carries a cap hit of $925,000 for next season (Spotrac). After 2016/17 he could be a restricted free agent, but that would only be the case if he doesn't sign an extension sometime between now and July 1st, 2018.

The Edmonton Oilers extended Connor McDavid's contract to an eight-year deal not long ago. Eichel may do the same in Buffalo, perhaps avoiding the situation that the Oilers are in with another one of the league's bright stars.

Loads of talk about Draisaitl

The Oilers are in a bit of situation with Leon Draisaitl, a current restricted free agent. Long considered probable to sign with Edmonton, the longer he remains unsigned, the tenser the situation could get.

TSN posted a video on August 1st that mentioned Draisaitl. In that video, the pundits addressed the Draisaitl-contract topic by posing the question: "Is there any concern that Leon Draisaitl is still without a contract in Edmonton?"

In answering that many will have their differing takes. The bottom line is whenever two parties are dealing with negotiations over money there is always the chance that the relationship could break down.

If Edmonton doesn't get Draisaitl, it would be a big setback. However, it would also open up cap space, perhaps for a midseason deal later this year when players enter the market for trades.

If you find all the what-if scenarios endless, then that's what makes Buffalo's move to sign Eichel now a good one.

The Sabres, in negotiation with Eichel now, will avoid all conjecture, rumors, and fluff debates next summer. According to Canada's Sportsnet, the Sabres and Eichel are discussing an eight-year deal. With Connor McDavid getting $100M for eight years, you'd think that Eichel might get about 15% less.

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