Buffalo Sabres Prospects: Jack Eichel’s Jersey Number


The Buffalo Sabres are just about a week away from the 2014-2015 NHL Draft, a draft in which they have two first round picks, the second overall, and the 21st overall.  There will be little surprise when the Buffalo Sabres take to the podium  and select Jack Eichel from the Boston University Terriers.

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Every player that dons a jersey in the first round of the draft will wear the number 15, a nod to the year in which they were drafted.  Of course I think the NHL should have the players wear the number they were drafted – but that might not be feasible given the possibility of trades, but maybe for the top three teams, I think that would make for a better photo op for the league and the players.

The problem now arises – what number will the Buffalo Sabres give to young Jack Eichel when he arrives in Buffalo for training camp and the preseason – and hopefully opening night?

Jack Eichel wore number 9 in his first year of college hockey with BU – but that number is already taken by Evander Kane – a player not likely to give his number up to a kid that is just out of college, even if the kid asks nicely.  Does Eichel have an emotional attachment to the number 9 that he will want to continue in his NHL career?

So what number does Eichel opt for?  The simple answer would be to add a digit in front of the number, and go with a 19, but that number is again, worn by Cody Hodgson.  If the Buffalo Sabres buyout Hodgson – then the number would be available.

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Hockey players and fans are a superstitious bunch, do we really want Jack Eichel taking the same number as Tim Connolly and Cody Hodgson?  If that is the case, Eichel would be the 22nd member of the Buffalo Sabres to wear number 19.

If Eichel doesn’t want to wear a number that has never been worn by a member of the Buffalo Sabres before – the number 62 would be the lowest number that he could wear, according to Hockey Reference.

In the past the Buffalo Sabres have made younger players take higher numbers – making them earn the right to don a traditional or lower “hockey number”.  Eichel will most likely get the chance to select his own number from a list of available numbers the team has.

Eichel has a strong chance of being eligible for his number being raised to the rafters by the Buffalo Sabres – if his career pans out the way he is being projected, so he will want to pick one number and stick with it for his career.

So the question was asked of me during game six of the Stanley Cup Final – what numbers does Jack Eichel wear when he pulls on a blue and gold sweater for his first game?

Next: Buffalo Sabres Preseason Schedule Released

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