The Prospects Challenge at First Niagara Center and HARBORCENTER has concluded as the Sabres won their final game against the Boston Bruins, 3-2, in overtime. With the win on Monday, the key standout throughout the tournament for the Sabres was obviously the man you’d think of, Jack Eichel.
In the 6-2 win over the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night, he made some very flashy passes and moves that awed the crowd, which he also did on Monday. He made a beautiful saucer pass which was one-timed by Brycen Martin to tie the game on the power-play. Eichel’s beautiful pass led toward him scoring the game-winning goal in overtime with 37 seconds left to give Buffalo a 2-0 record for the Prospect Challenge.
The 18-year old finished the tournament with 3 points (1 goal, 2 assists). Playing along side Boston University line-mate Evan Rodrigues in the tournament made the two games a little more easier.
“We both understand each other and are familiar with each other,” Eichel said about playing with Rodrigues in the tournament. “To be able to hop into a tournament like this and play with someone that you’ve played with for some many games last year, makes it a lot easier.”
Rodrigues, a 22-year old undrafted free agent who was signed by the Sabres in late June, was arguably the second best player on the Sabres in the tournament. He did not have any points in the game tonight, but did have three points on Saturday.
“It’s kind of proving people wrong,” Rodrigues said about going undrafted. “At the end of this year, Buffalo was interested in me and I saw this as a great opportunity for myself and I think I’m going to come in here and work as hard as I can day in and day out.”
Other notable names that were intriguing for the Sabres throughout the tournament were Sam Reinhart, Jake McCabe, Nicholas Baptiste, and Andrey Makarov. Some may get time with the Sabres in the upcoming season, but will most likely be on the ice suiting for them in a year or two.
Some players that played in this tournament may get a sniff at preseason action with the Sabres when they begin on September 21 on the road against the Minnesota Wild. Puck drop is slated for an 8:00pm start.
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