As Jack Eichel walked the sidewalk near the Sabres’ arena, a crowd of autograph seekers surrounded him. The team that will one day get his signature on a contract had just finished chatting with him, too.
Eichel, who is in Buffalo for the NHL Scouting Combine, interviewed with the Sabres on Tuesday afternoon. The group included General Manager Tim Murray, coach Dan Bylsma, President Ted Black and the scouting staff.
“It went really well,” Eichel told The Buffalo News. “I got to know all their management and scouts and talk about my season and stuff, so it was a lot of fun. I liked it. It was a good meeting.”
The Sabres, of course, are expected to draft the Boston University center this month with the second overall pick. Having the Combine in Buffalo will give him a preview of his future home.
“It’s nice to be here,” said Eichel, who arrived Monday. “The odds are that I’ll be selected here, so I’m just trying to get a feel for the city. It was nice to meet the management and see coach Bylsma again. It’s really good. I’ve been enjoying myself.”
Eichel played for the U.S. world championship team this spring, and Bylsma -- hired by the Sabres last week -- was an assistant coach.
“It was nice to get to know him and it was nice that he got the job,” Eichel said. “We did a few video sessions together. I think he’s a really good hockey guy, and I’d love to play for him.”