Eichel confident he’ll sign long-term contract

Though it’s possible Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel won’t agree to a contract extension before this season begins, it’s only a matter of time before a deal is done and he can look forward to a long future with the Sabres, he said Thursday.

Eichel, 20, is entering the final season of the three-year, entry-level contract he signed after being selected by the Sabres with the second pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.

Botterill’s,” Eichel said during the NHL Player Media Tour.

An eight-year extension for Eichel likely would fall in line with the contracts signed this offseason by comparable young forwards.

McDavid, 20, selected by the Edmonton Oilers one spot ahead of Eichel in the 2015 draft, signed an eight-year, $100 million contract extension ($12.5 million average annual value) on July 5 that begins next season.

Johansen, 25, signed an eight-year, $64 million contract ($8 million AAV) with the Nashville Predators as a restricted free agent July 28, and Draisaitl, 21, signed an eight-year, $68 million contract ($8.5 million AAV) with the Oilers as a restricted free agent Aug.

McDavid led the NHL in scoring last season with 100 points (30 goals, 70 assists) and won the Hart Trophy as NHL most valuable player and the Ted Lindsay Award, given to the most outstanding player in the regular season as voted by the members of the NHL Players’ Association.

We’re in two different situations, we play in two different areas, so I’m just trying to worry about Jack Eichel and helping Jack Eichel be the best that he can be.” Eichel’s main motivation now is help to the Sabres reach the playoffs for the first time since 2010-11.

Eichel has been impressed with Botterill and is looking forward to working with Housley, who he met for the first time in Buffalo on Tuesday.