5:09 PM: Head coach Phil Housley told reporters, including NHL.com’s Joe Yerdon (Twitter link) that Eichel could still return this season. He is, however, expected to miss the next four-to-six weeks at a minimum.
1:05 PM: The Buffalo Sabres will be without their best player as the team announced that Jack Eichel will be out indefinitely with a high ankle sprain. This is the second year in a row he’s suffered this injury, although last year’s sprain was with his left leg. This sprain is with his right leg.
Eichel, the team’s leading scorer suffered the same injury a year ago when he missed the first 21 games of the season and didn’t start his season until Nov. 29 in 2016. A similar timetable could suggest he might miss most if not all of the remainder of the season. The 21-year-old center has played in 55 games this year and has 22 goals and 53 points and was well on his way to posting career highs this season.
From a team outlook, Eichel’s loss shouldn’t affect much as the team plans to be sellers at the deadline and have the second-worst record in the league with a 16-29-10 record. The team should have a good chance of snagging the top pick in the 2018 draft lottery in Rasmus Dahlin.
The Buffalo News’ John Vogl tweets that the team plans to recall 22-year-old center Nicholas Baptiste from the Rochester Americans of the AHL. He has one goal in eight games with the Sabres this year.