Several notable NHL stars were traded during the 2021 NHL Draft weekend. Seth Jones, Jakub Voracek, and Oliver Ekman-Larsson were among the notables changing teams. As the draft ended, however, Jack Eichel remained with the Buffalo Sabres.
Eichel's been a fixture in the rumor mill since expressing his displeasure in mid-May over the Sabres' treatment of his neck injury. The 24-year-old center was considered the prime trade target as the draft weekend approached. While teammates Sam Reinhart and Rasmus Ristolainen were traded, a deal failed to materialized for the Sabres' captain.
Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams said he was still fielding calls about Eichel. He also indicated he wouldn't have any problem with him being on their roster when training camp opens.
By all accounts, according to Daily Faceoff's Frank Seravalli, the asking price is “fantastical”. He said the Sabres sought a “futures-type transaction” of multiple picks and prospects. With this year's draft now history, Adams could seek picks in the 2022 and 2023 drafts along with the top prospect selected in this year's draft from any interested clubs.
Geography could also slow progress in moving Eichel. The Athletic's Rick Carpiniello reported a league source said Sabres owner Terry Pegula wants the center traded to a Western Conference team.
That limits the number of possible trade destinations. The Anaheim Ducks, Calgary Flames and Los Angeles Kings were believed among the suitors but Elliotte Friedman recently reported they appear to have dropped out of the Eichel sweepstakes. The Minnesota Wild are also believed to be interested but appear reluctant to pay the freight or take on the full cap hit.