The Sabres Report - June 28, 2015

Lehner healthy, excited for fresh start with Sabres   

NHL.com:

‘”It was nothing personal between us, I don’t think,” Lehner said. “It just seemed like when I’d start getting hot, I didn’t get the chance to play, and that happened on several occasions.”‘

Sabres select 5 players on Day 2 of NHL Draft   

Sabres.com:

‘The Buffalo Sabres followed up a busy first day of the 2015 NHL Draft which saw the team make two trades and one draft selection by retaining all of the team’s second-day picks and selecting five prospects. On the second day of the draft, Buffalo added one forward and four defensemen to their day-one selection of forward Jack Eichel to wrap up the 2015 NHL Draft.’

An early look at the depth chart   

Sabres.com:

‘So with that in mind — and knowing that head coach Dan Bylsma is already anxious to put some line combinations into play — here’s a hypothetical look at how the Sabres might line up against the Ottawa Senators, opening night Oct. 8 at First Niagara Center.’

The Sabres Report - June 27, 2015

Finally, it's official: Sabres make Eichel their top pick   

Buffalo News:

‘”It’s a great feeling to be selected, especially in an organization like this,” Eichel said. “There’s so much passion and tradition. You look at the Buffalo community and everyone is really into their hockey and knowledgeable. Even though I hadn’t been selected until today, it seemed like I had been part of the Buffalo Sabres for a while now. To finally put this jersey on, it’s a tremendous feeling.”‘

Ecstatic Eichel already feels at home with Sabres and Buffalo   

Buffalo News:

‘”Buffalo as a city and the Sabres as a team are heading in a great direction,” Eichel said. “You look at some of the moves they’ve made and the guys that they’ve acquired, the guys they have in their system and some of the guys they have on their team, there’s a lot of positives. I just want to become a piece of the puzzle.’

For city on upswing, it’s the perfect match   

Buffalo News:

‘“What’s interesting to me non-hockey wise is that the kid came to all those events by himself,” Sabres President Ted Black said. “His parents are working parents and he’s able to get to these things on his own. Doesn’t have a posse around him, good or bad. That really strikes me – the level of maturity for a 17- and 18-year-old kid that’s comfortable and confident to get around on his own without the need of adult supervision.”’

Trade moves O’Reilly to center stage with Sabres   

Buffalo News:

‘Though young and talented, O’Reilly was long-rumored to be on the trade block because of contract issues. He held out at the start of the 2013 lockout-shortened season and signed an offer sheet with Calgary that Colorado matched. He followed up by signing a two-year, $12 million deal that expires after next season. He’s scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent, but Sabres General Manager Tim Murray has no plans to let that happen.’

Murray pulls trigger on trade to land young goalie   

Buffalo News:

‘“I think he’s a No. 1 goalie. I think he becomes the starter. When I talk about guys that are a starter or a No. 1 center or a No. 3 defenseman or whatever, I mean on a good team. I mean on a contending team. I mean on a competitive team. I mean on a playoff team.”’

The Jack Eichel era is about to begin for Sabres   

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle:

‘Assuming Eichel is paid the maximum allowed by the collective bargaining agreement, his mandatory three-year contract would pay him an NHL salary of $925,000 per season. He could be paid a total signing bonus of $277,500, and performance bonuses could total $3.775 million.’

Jack Eichel thrilled to be drafted by Sabres: ‘I wanted to be a part of this’   

Olean Times Herald:

‘“You don’t want to assume anything before it’s happened,” he said. “So until it was set in stone I didn’t want to publicly even speak about my feeling for the Sabres organization. I wanted to be a part of this. Now that it’s finally set in stone I can say this is where I wanted to be and it’s a dream come true.”’

Sabres send strong message with big trades at NHL Draft   

Olean Times Herald:

‘“You know if you go down a road like this it’s not going to be a freebie and you’re going to pay a price, and we certainly paid a price today,” Murray said.’

Sabres were big winners on NHL Draft night   

Erie Times News:

‘Now, with O’Reilly in place, the Sabres have begun putting together pieces that might not make them a playoff contender next season, but moves them closer than they were at the end of the season. It’s safe to say much has changed for the Sabres in a short time.’

BU’s Jack Eichel picked second overall by Sabres   

Boston Globe:

‘“It feels tremendous,” Eichel said. “The feeling of wearing this jersey right now really hasn’t sunk in. To be able to talk to my family and my friends about the fact I was just selected by the Sabres in the NHL Draft, it’s a dream come true to be selected. Especially by an organization like this, with so much passion and tradition.”’

Jack Eichel’s next step will be his hardest   

Boston Globe:

‘What’s less clear is how Eichel will perform in his first NHL season, which is likely to begin this October. Every night, Eichel will compete against skilled, experienced, and hostile men who specialize in making 18-year-olds wish for study halls and mom’s cooking. Eichel will play for a team that, for the last two years, has made 30th place its natural habitat.’

Drafted by Sabres, will Jack Eichel stay or go?   

Boston Herald:

‘“I guess we’ll see in a few days,” he said. “I don’t know. I can’t let the cat out of the bag.”’