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Buffalo fans to Jack Eichel: 'Welcome home'

Sabres fans have been watching and hearing about Jack Eichel for more than a year. With him in town for the NHL Scouting Combine, they made it clear how much they want him to play in Buffalo.

“I’ve gotten a lot from locals, from ‘welcome home’ to ‘we’re happy to have you here,’” Eichel said Saturday. “It’s just everything. The people here are really welcoming. Obviously, they care a lot about their hockey.”

Eichel still hasn’t declared whether he’ll play in the NHL next season or return to Boston University, but the Sabres’ pending No. 2 overall pick got a good feel this week of what hockey would be like in Buffalo.

“I’m trying to get a feel for what it would be like to play here if that ended up happening,” he said in HarborCenter. “Like anything else, it helped me think about some things and made my experience really nice. I really enjoyed being in Buffalo for the week.

“Everyone around here’s pretty excited, it seems like, for the Sabres’ future. Everyone’s really welcoming. Nothing’s set in stone, but it seems like this is where I would end up. People are really excited about the future.”

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