Eichel understands Murray’s disappointment, but ‘extreme competitor’ has ‘a lot to offer’

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Sabres GM Tim Murray took some serious heat following Saturday’s NHL Draft Lottery after he likened losing the No. 1 pick to getting cut from the Canadian junior team, adding he felt bad for Sabres fans that “were extremely excited about Connor McDavid.”

But of all people, it was Jack Eichel — Buffalo’s likely pick at the No. 2 spot — that said he understood where the Sabres GM was coming from.

“Who doesn’t want to be first?” Eichel told PHT on Saturday night. “You have all the options there. I’m sure he may be disappointed but it’s a very deep draft class and there’s a lot of good players.”

Eichel said he didn’t hear Murray’s comments but, when apprised of them, didn’t “really know where to attack that question, because everyone has their own opinion.” The 18-year-old pointed out that, despite speculation he and McDavid will be the second and first overall picks, nothing is set in stone and that plenty can change between now and June 26, when the entry draft will get underway in Florida.

Eichel also said that, should he go No. 2, the Sabres would be getting themselves a quality player.

“I have a lot to offer,” the reigning Hobey Baker winner explained. “[I’m an] extreme competitor and I never like to lose. I think I bring a really good winning attitude and I have a lot to offer offensively.

“I think I’d be a great teammate.”