Jack Eichel casts a big shadow. Evan Rodrigues' biggest chore is stepping out of it to prove he can play on his own.
After three quiet seasons at Boston University (21 goals and 39 assists in 115 games), Rodrigues exploded as a senior while playing on Eichel's left wing. Rodrigues put up 21 goals and 40 assists in 41 outings to help the Terriers reach the Frozen Four final.
He signed with the Sabres a few days after the team locked up Eichel through the NHL Draft Lottery, but the 21-year-old says that wasn't a factor in his decision.
"I actually made up my mind before the lottery even happened," Rodrigues said. "I knew Buffalo was a good - actually, great - opportunity for me. It felt right in my gut, and I'm happy with my decision."
While he's still on Eichel's wing during development camp, Rodrigues showed his individual skill with one of the flashiest shootout goals following Friday's scrimmage.
"I just want to show everyone that's in the stands what I'm capable of and what I can do and that I can play at the next level," Rodrigues said. "The Sabres are making moves and not staying stagnant. They've made some big moves that maybe people didn't expect, but it's great to see. Hopefully, I can be a part of it."