Jack Eichel's offseason has officially begun.
The Buffalo Sabres' 22-year-old center and the United States were eliminated from the IIHF World Championship with a 4-3 quarterfinal loss to Russia on Thursday in Bratislava, Slovakia. Meanwhile, Sam Reinhart and Team Canada beat Switzerland, 3-2, in overtime on a goal by Vegas winger Mark Stone in Kosice.
Eichel did not record a point in his tournament finale and scored two goals with six assists in eight games. Reinhart, a 23-year-old winger, has three goals with two assists in eight games.
The early absence should provide Eichel with ample time to prepare for Sabres training camp after his first season as the team's captain. He posted career highs in goals (28), assists (54) and points (82) while playing in 77 games. Eichel missed only three games because of injury and received a two-game suspension for an illegal check to the head against Colorado's Carl Soderberg.
Eichel was the first Sabres player to record at least 80 points in a season since Derek Roy (81) and Jason Pominville (80) both accomplished the feat in 2007-08. Eichel also became the first Sabres player with at least 50 assists since Pominville (53) in 2007-08, and the first to post at least 55 even-strength points since Daniel Briere (65) and Thomas Vanek (62) in 2006-07.
Eichel joined Vanek and Rick Martin as the third player in franchise history to record at least 20 goals in each of his first four NHL seasons.
Though Eichel was held off the score sheet against Russia and nearly assisted on what would have been the tying goal, when he found Arizona's Clayton Keller with a backdoor pass in the second period. The ensuing shot was stopped by Tampa Bay goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy.
New York Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei, Calgary defenseman Noah Hanifin and Chicago winger Alex DeBrincat scored for the United States. Russia received goals from Vegas winger Nikita Gusev, Tampa Bay defenseman Mikhail Sergachev, Minnesota Wild prospect Kirill Kaprizov and former Sabres first-round pick Mikhail Grigorenko, who played the past two seasons for CSKA Moscow in the Kontinental Hockey League.
Reinhart and Sabres General Manager Jason Botterill, who is serving on Canada's management team, nearly had their tournament end until they were bailed out by New Jersey defenseman Damon Severson, whose tying goal with one second remaining in regulation sent the game to overtime.
Stone scored at 5:07 into overtime to help Canada advance in the tournament, and he also broke a one-goal deficit early in the second period.