It was during practice Wednesday morning that Buffalo Sabres star forward Jack Eichel sustained a gruesome ankle injury. Eichel was skating by the front of the net during a power play drill when his leg all of a sudden gave out, leading to him falling back on himself. He rolled around on the ice clutching his lower leg/ankle, screaming out in pain. He began to hobble off the ice and was assisted by teammates. The injury was later diagnosed a a high ankle sprain and his recovery time has been set around four to six weeks. Thus, he will not be playing the Sabres season opener Thursday night when Buffalo takes on the Montreal Canadiens.
Buffalo Sabres Jack Eichel Out 4-6 Weeks with Ankle Injury
“I saw it live and I’ve seen it on video,” Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma said. “He’s just by himself, he lifts up Zemgus’ stick and he plants his foot to go the other way and it kind of goes underneath him. It’s not any kind of battle or any kind of contact with anybody. He just lifts up Zemgus’ stick and he’s a right hand shot and he turns here and that’s where you see his ankle go out. We [were] 10 minutes away, maybe less than that, maybe eight minutes away from practice being over and getting ready for a game tomorrow and that happens and takes a little bit of a chunk out of the team.” (NHL.com)
“He’s a huge piece of the team, and it’s unfortunate right before the regular season kicks off,” Sabres forward Marcus Foligno said. “You want to start off on the right foot, hoping everyone’s healthy and then you just get kind of a setback. Again, we don’t know what has happened or how severe it is, but you just never want to see that happen to anyone, especially Jack.” (NHL.com)
The 19 year old centerman and 2015 National Hockey League Entry Draft second overall pick led the Buffalo Sabres in scoring last year with 24 goals in 81 games played. He also added 32 assists during the season. The injury certainly is not the start Eichel, the Buffalo Sabres, or the fans were looking for, and his hopeful scheduled return date should be around late November, early December.