With only 38 goals through their first 21 games the Buffalo Sabres have been — by far — the worst offensive team in the NHL this season.
They will be getting a lot of help on Tuesday night when Jack Eichel, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 draft, will make his season debut when the team visits the Ottawa Senators. He was skating on a line with Sam Reinhart and Evander Kane during the team’s morning skate.
He made an immediate for the Sabres as a rookie last season, leading the team with 24 goals and finishing second (behind Ryan O'Reilly) with 56 total points. He was not only one of the team’s most productive players, but also their most exciting.
From the minute he was drafted Eichel has been expected to be the centerpiece of Buffalo’s ongoing rebuild.
While general manager Tim Murray has made some significant changes to the roster over the past two years progress remains slow as the team remains near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings with a 7-9-5 record through their first 21 games. That has them on a 74-point pace over 82 games. They finished with 81 points a year ago with what was their best record since the 2011-12 season. Injuries have no doubt been a factor this season. Along with Eichel, Tyler Ennis, Zach Bogosian, Kane, O’Reilly and Dmitry Kulikov have all missed significant time this season.