Islanders Still Search For Second Line Center: Eyes On Eichel

By Tim Stevenson
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 09: Jack Eichel
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 09: Jack Eichel /
1 of 6

The New York Islanders search for a second line center continues. The role has been juggled unsuccessfully since Frans Nielsen’s departure last summer. The options for actual top level talent up the center are slim to none; teams don’t let go of such important players for less than a fortune. Especially if the player is 20 years old and the face and future of the franchise…

Islanders management should look for Jack Eichel, who just finished his second season in the NHL. He has one more season to go on his entry level contract. Buffalo is looking to lock down this young superstar, and so far all evidence indicates Eichel is willing to stay.

I hate to play the same game of what if that we’ve suffered from other team’s fans who’ve dreamed of stealing Tavares from our ranks, but darn it if it isn’t kind of fun. So, let’s talk hypothetically for a moment.

Eichel is a super talent. He just put up 57 points in 61 games. That’s one more than his rookie season, but in 20 games less. Next season will be a huge year for the Massachusetts native, and he’ll still be playing for less than a million against the cap.

Eichel would be the perfect understudy for Johnny ‘over-time’ Tavares. Plus he is a righty, which is something the Islanders lacked at the faceoff dot last season.

So, remember that fortune I was talking about? Which kind of fortune do you think might tempt the Sabres to part with Jack Eichel?

Let’s go through four different scenarios that have Eichel coming to the Isles, and a big time package heading to that other New York team.