Captain Jack is now officially leading the ship in Buffalo.The Sabres announced Wednesday afternoon that Jack Eichel will wear the captain's "C" this season and beyond. The 21-year-old Eichel, who was selected by Buffalo with the second overall pick in 2015, is entering his fourth NHL season. He's also entering the first year of an eight-year, $80 million contract extension.
Sabres' coach Phil Housley made the announcement at practice on Wednesday morning.
Eichel becomes the 19th full-time captain in Sabres history. Buffalo left the captaincy vacant following Brian Gionta's departure following the 2017 season.
Despite only playing 67 regular season games last year, Eichel finished with the team lead in goals (25) and points (64) for the last-place Sabres in 2017-2018. He's regarded as an elite young talent across the league but still has room to grow as his team looks to establish some relevance.
Buffalo clearly has faith in him to lead the team on and off the ice as they look to start establishing some positive momentum in their rebuild. That momentum could start taking shape this year, as the Sabres had a strong offseason and should have a chance to be competitive in an Atlantic division that is extremely top heavy.