Eichel is among 17 players announced Thursday as part of Team USA's roster for the upcoming IIHF World Championship in Slovakia, Lance Lysowski of The Buffalo News reports. Eichel is a highly competitive sort, so this isn't a surprise since the Sabres have yet to make the playoffs in his young career, as he's probably pining for glory after such a disappointing season for his own team -- one that saw coach Phil Housley get fired. Coming off an 82-point season, Eichel instantly becomes one of the top forwards for Team Red, White and Blue.
Eichel picked up two assists Saturday in a 7-1 win over Detroit. Eichel's final line on the season? He scored 28 goals, added 54 assists, delivered 82 points and finished minus-11, all in 77 games. That's a 28 percent increase in production from last season. Eichel also improved his game in the faceoff circle. He wants to be among the league's elite. Another couple seasons and he could be.
Eichel's third-period goal served as his 80th point of the year as his team claimed a 5-2 win over the Senators on Thursday. Eichel's two-game suspension in March made this tighter than it should have been, but it's a nice feather in his cap to reach the 80-point mark for the first time. He's right on track in his progression and has proven to be every bit the star the Sabres thought they were getting during his first four years in the league.
Eichel scored a goal and added an assist in Saturday's 7-4 loss to the Canadiens. It was his first goal against Montreal. Eichel had scored against every other team in the NHL, but not Montreal. He had eight assists in his previous 15 games against the Canadiens. Eichel continues to build the resume of a future star and now has 75 points in 69 games. And his fourth straight season with at least 24 goals (he has 26 this year).
Eichel's two-game suspension is over, and the forward is eligible to return Saturday in Carolina. Eichel was suspended for two games as a result of his hit to the head of Colorado's Carl Soderberg. The captain figures to slot back into a first-line center role Saturday versus the Hurricanes. In two meetings with Carolina this season, Eichel has an even-strength assist while posting a cumulative rating of minus-4.
Last 7 Games
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