BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Buffalo Sabres rookie center Jack Eichel is passing up the opportunity to represent the United States at the World Ice Hockey Championships next month because he feels he needs a break.
Eichel made the announcement Sunday, a day after the Sabres closed their season. The 19-year-old says he is looking forward to finally being able to take a breath and relax after a hectic year.
Eichel represented the U.S. at last year's world championships and has already been selected to Team North America's roster competing in the World Cup of Hockey tournament in September.
Selected with the No. 2 pick in last year's draft, Eichel led Buffalo with 24 goals and finished second with 56 points in 81 games. His goal and point totals rank second among NHL rookies.