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Published May 03, 2016
Buffalo Sabres draftee Jack Eichel has signed his first professional contract and will skip his final three years of college eligibility.
Buffalo selected the physical 18-year-old center No. 2 overall in last week's draft, picking a player who won the 2015 Hobey Baker Award as the top player in college hockey.
Rookie deals are capped and he's expected to receive the maximum value.
Eichel had 26 goals and 45 assists in 40 games with Boston University. He was the second freshman to nab the Baker award — Maine's Paul Kariya won it in 1993.
Eichel joins a revitalized Sabres roster that includes center Ryan O'Reilly, winger Jamie McGinn, goaltender Robin Lehner and forward David Legwand.
A person familiar with contract discussions told The Associated Press the Sabres are also negotiating a contract extension with O'Reilly. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the Sabres have not revealed their plans.