It’s been a while since we’ve heard some rumblings of Jack Eichel leaving Boston University to play junior in the CHL, but it appears there may be some legs to the story once again.
The Saint John Sea Dogs own Eichel’s major junior rights. The Sea Dogs effectively extinguished the prospect of Eichel and Connor McDavid going head-to-head in the Ontario Hockey League, but there’s still an outside chance Eichel could play out the remainder of his draft year in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, according to Damien Cox.
“There’s a lot of talk that he might leave Boston University after the World Junior Championships and go to the Canadian Hockey League,” Cox said.
Earlier this week, on Sportsnet's podcast "Junior" Sam Cosentino said the speculation around Eichel leaving the NCAA was growing louder.
"You’re really starting to hear things, more than whispers now, that Jack Eichel is going to end up in Saint John after the world juniors," Cosentino said. "I've heard that from a couple of different pretty good sources."
Cox noted that both the Saint John Sea Dogs and Eichel's inner circle have said he's not leaving Boston University. However, Cox cited several recent incidences of players such as Charlie Coyle, Adam Tambellini, and Sonny Milano reversing their tune and jumping from the NCAA to play in the CHL after stating they wouldn't do so.
Eichel is expected to be taken second overall behind McDavid in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, although some still see him as a potential first overall pick.
Eichel has eight goals and 27 points in 16 games with Boston University this season.
The Saint John Sea Dogs are currently second in the QMJHL's Maritimes Division with a 20-9-1-4 record.