Day after voicing disappointment with No. 2 pick, Murray praises Eichel

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After losing the NHL Draft Lottery on Saturday, Sabres GM Tim Murray said “I feel for the fans” because they were “extremely excited about Connor (McDavid)” after “a tough year.” That can be interpreted as a slight against Jack Eichel, who is also regarded as a generational talent and will likely now be a big part of the Buffalo Sabres’ future.

Murray doesn’t want people to come to that conclusion based on his comments though.

“People took my comments last night as an insult to Jack Eichel, that’s the furthest thing from the truth, I love Jack Eichel,” Murray told ESPN.

“Do you want to win the lottery? I mean, absolutely. I mean, we haven’t even had our [draft] meetings yet. We haven’t done our list yet. I wanted to win the lottery and pick who we pick. Maybe after we have our meeting in two weeks, maybe we have Jack Eichel at No. 1.”

It would have been very surprising if Buffalo picked Eichel with the number one pick, just as it seems all but certain that McDavid will play for Edmonton now that the Oilers control the first overall selection.

Eichel told PHT last night that he understood where Murray was coming from. After all, when given the option between picking first and second, who wouldn’t want that top spot?

“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. If Buffalo picks him, he thinks he can be a great teammate.

“I have a lot to offer,” he said. “[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.”

From March: Sabres GM Tim Murray: ‘I think too much about’ McDavid