The New Jersey Devils would get an extreme boost from acquiring Jack Eichel. It is pretty much impossible but if it was, what would it take?
The New Jersey Devils are a team that is allowed to make trades because they are one of seven teams that are not going to participate in the 24 teams “return to play” tournament. They missed the cut by just a couple of points and are the second team out. The first team out was the Buffalo Sabres. Don’t let that fool you, the Sabres had an awful year as well.
You can argue that they had a worse year than the Devils because of the expectations. Some people expected a lot from New Jersey, too, but the Sabres have been waiting way longer to take the next step. Their biggest superstar, Jack Eichel, feels a level of frustration over his situation and made it clear to the public.
He is so tired of losing, going the first five years in the league. This makes nine-straight years the Sabres missed the playoffs. Make no mistake about it, Jack Eichel is one of the ten best players in the National Hockey League. He has gotten better and better every year of his career, and now he is near the top of the league in terms of being one of the elites.
In 2019-20, he had 36 goals and 42 assists for 78 points in 68 games. That is good for a 94 point pace over a full 82-game schedule. For reference, Taylor Hall had 93 points when he captured the Hart Trophy as the league’s most valuable player in 2017-18. Anybody who thinks that Eichel deserves any blame needs to learn how the game of hockey works. If the Sabres were just a little bit better, he’d be in the Hart Trophy conversation himself.
So even though there is almost no chance that he gets moved, let alone to the Devils, what would it take? The answer might surprise you. Although he is unhappy in his situation, the Sabres have no reason to trade him and if they did want to, they would demand a lot: