Eichel telling teams he’ll be better than McDavid

Buffalo Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma had a chance to coach projected number-two pick Jack Eichel at the World Championships, saying he’s worth the hype surrounding him.

Boston University star Jack Eichel doesn’t lack any skills on the ice and he certainly doesn’t lack confidence either.

A Thursday report in the Boston Globe said the centre, projected to go No. 2 to the Buffalo Sabres in the upcoming NHL Draft, has been telling teams at the NHL Scouting Combine this week that he will be better than projected top pick Connor McDavid of the Erie Otters.

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Sabres general manger Tim Murray, who met with Eichel at the combine, confirmed this Friday during a radio interview with WGR 550 in Buffalo.

“He said that. He also said to me that they (Eichel and his advisors) were pretty happy after the draft lottery,” Murray said. “He said ‘you may have been disappointed [with not getting the No. 1 pick], but you shouldn’t be disappointed.’”

Murray said he was impressed with what he heard in his interview with Eichel and loves the confidence he is displaying.

“I think he should say that. Why not say that? I think he believes it,” Murray said. “I think the way he played this season, we called it a two-horse race all year, so why should he not believe that?…He backed up that confidence with his play this year. Had a tremendous year so I don’t know why he wouldn’t believe he’s the best player in the draft this year.”

Murray added that the Sabres have not interviewed Connor McDavid this week and do not intend to.

When you think of what the Sidney Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin rivalry has done for the sport since they broke into the NHL in 2005, the league must be excited because we’re on the verge of seeing what should be the next great superstar rivalry in hockey.

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