Jack Eichel meets the media at First Niagara Center on Wednesday after signing a three-year contract. (Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News)
Calling it a "great event in this organization's history," Tim Murray introduced Jack Eichel on Wednesday as a signed player for the Buffalo Sabres.
"This young man is hopefully going to take us places where we haven’t been and take us up from where we’ve been the last couple of years," the general manager said while seated next to Eichel in First Niagara Center.
Eichel, selected second overall Friday in the NHL Draft, said he has known for nearly two months that he'd be leaving Boston University for life as a professional. He just had to wait for a team to draft him.
He's thrilled that it's the Sabres.
"I couldn’t be more excited about it," the 18-year-old said. "Looking at the Sabres’ organization, there’s such a bright future here. It seemed like a no-brainer. It’s been a dream to potentially be playing professional hockey, and I’m going to do everything in my power to make an impact for the Sabres next year."
Eichel's showing against professionals at the world championships convinced him it was time to move to the NHL. He finished third in scoring for the United States, putting up seven points in 10 games.
"Before the world championships, I was a little bit unsure," he said. "After going over there and having the experience I did, talking to a lot of guys, I came back pretty set on moving on. I could never really make anything public because I hadn’t been drafted yet.
"I’m just going to work as hard as I can this summer and come to camp with a good attitude, just leave everything out there. This is where I want to be. It’s a dream come true to be able to sign a contract, but the real work starts now. The biggest dream is to make the team."