In addition to a handful of new teammates, Jack Eichel will have a new number when the Buffalo Sabres hit the ice for the 2018-19 NHL season.
The star centre posted a photo of him donning a No. 9 Sabres uniform instead of the No. 15 he has worn throughout the first three seasons of his NHL career.
The post was captioned: “New season, old number.”
The 21-year-old wore No. 9 when he attended Boston University and also wore the number while representing Team USA at the world juniors and IIHF world championship.
Eichel was selected second overall in the 2015 NHL Draft so when he walked on stage after his name was called he was handed a No. 15 sweater and decided to stick with that number once he made the team out of training camp.
Former Sabres forward Evander Kane wore No. 9 when Eichel first joined the team, which was another reason the North Chelmsford, Mass., native went with No. 15 as a rookie.
“For a long time, the No. 9 has always been a part of my identity as both a person and as a player,” Eichel said in a press release. “The opportunity opened up to switch and I felt it was the right time to make the change as I begin the next phase of my career as a Sabre.”
The team announced that any fans who currently own an official No. 15 Eichel jersey can get a $49 credit from the Sabres Store to put towards a new No. 9 Eichel jersey.