Buffalo Sabres forward Jack Eichel left Monday night’s game against the New York Islanders early in the first period with an undisclosed injury. The Sabres announced that Eichel would not return to the game. While there has been no update on his condition, he is not practicing with his teammates today.
No Jack Eichel (upper-body) at practice today. Line rushes shortly.
— Joe Yerdon (@JoeYerdon) January 2, 2019
Buffalo Sabres Jack Eichel Injured
Eichel was a game-time decision for tonight’s game after he missed practice on Sunday. He took part in a light skate Monday morning and decided to play in the game. Eichel only lasted four shifts for a total of 2:42 minutes of ice time before leaving the game.
In 40 games this season, Eichel has scored 15 goals and added 34 assists for 49 points.
Over his four year career with the Sabres, Eichel has scored 88 goals and added 138 assists for 226 points in 248 games. He was named team captain at the beginning of the regular season.
Eichel was drafted by the Sabres in the first round, second overall in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.
Tough Blow for the Sabres
If Eichel is forced to miss time it will be a massive blow to a Sabres team who is currently holding the third seed in the Atlantic division. With the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens are two and three points behind respectively, losing Eichel couldn’t have come at a worse time. Eichel is the Sabres best player and is currently leading the team in points. Eichel, Jeff Skinner and Sam Reinhart have formed one of the most dangerous lines in hockey at the moment so losing a key piece to that equation will certainly slow down the offensive production of the Skinner and Reinhart. It will also greatly affect their playoff chances if he misses an extended period.
If Eichel does, in fact, miss time, it is expected Victor Olofsson or Alex Nylander would likely be recalled from their AHL affiliate Rochester Americans.
Olofsson is currently leading the Americans in points with 29 in 30 games. He spent the last three seasons playing in the Swedish Hockey League. He was originally drafted by the Sabres in the 7th round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.
Nylander has scored 20 points in 30 games for Rochester this season. Nylander is the Sabres top-ranked prospect. He was drafted by the Sabres in the first round, 8th overall in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.
The Sabres will play host to the Florida Panthers on Thursday night.