Eichel expects Sabres to make the playoffs

Posted at 4:18 PM, Sep 28, 2016

Jack's back and it doesn't look like he has missed a beat.

On Wednesday, Buffalo Sabres forward Jack Eichel joined his teammates for practice at Key Bank Center, just hours after their first win of the preseason.

Eichel was one of the four Sabres  players that participated in the World Cup of Hockey. He returned to Buffalo last week after Team North America was eliminated and believes he now has a leg up on the competition.

" I think it I was great. Now you're stepping into camp and you've already played six real high end games against the world's best," Eichel said. "You're in game shape, you know I feel good on the ice now so it's really nice."

The 19-year-old forward said he wished the tournament would've went differently but he knows now it's time to focus on the Sabres.

"I'm definitely excited to get back to Buffalo. I've been looking forward to this season for a while now and it's great to have one under your belt and come in here and expect more out of yourself everyday. It's a great group and we're all excited."

Last year, Eichel lived up to the high expectations, finishing with 56 points (24G,32A) during his rookie campaign. This season, he doesn't have any statistical goals, at least he says he doesn't, but he does think he'll continue to grow as a player.

"You're more comfortable. As you do something more and as you get some experience under your belt  and you feel more comfortable with things and confident."

But what about from a team standpoint? Does Eichel think this roster is good enough to make the playoffs? Well, that's certainly his goal.

"(We want to) be in the hunt at the end of year. Playing games in March and April and keep going. I think that's important for us and I think that's what this organization wants and that's what we want in the room. I think anything less than that is an underachievement." 

Eichel will not play in either of the Sabres next two preseason games. Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said there's no rush to get Eichel back in the lineup.

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