Montreal Canadiens Could Make a Big Move for Jack Eichel

jack eichel

It will come as no surprise that the Montreal Canadiens are still looking for a superstar first-line center. A few days ago, Buffalo Sabres captain Jack Eichel made it clear that he was displeased with the team’s performances ever since he joined the franchise. Montreal is a team that is trending in the right direction and a team that could be battling for a playoff spot next spring. That would make it interesting for Eichel to come over since he has never been part of the postseason with the Sabres.  We’ll take a look at the type of player Eichel is, what the Habs look like down the middle and how Eichel would fit, and what the Canadiens could offer for the big centerman.

Montreal Canadiens Acquiring Jack Eichel Could Be a Game Changer

Jack Eichel‘s Player Profile

Since joining the league in the 2015-2016 season, Eichel has improved every single season, making himself more indispensable for the Sabres year after year. He excels at creating scoring chances for his team and can change the outcome of a game on his own. He is the author of some incredible highlight-reel goals that only a few players in the league are capable of scoring. His creativity being through the roof makes him an unpredictable player. This past season, Eichel recorded 31 goals in 68 games finishing eighth in goals and finishing 10th in points with 78. Eichel has gained in maturity as his two-way game has improved these past two seasons. His Corsi has been over 50% for the past two seasons making him more reliable defensively.

Eichel is one of the few elements that work for Buffalo and there isn’t much to complain about concerning his game. The only aspect of his game where he disappoints is in the faceoff circle. Faceoff wise, Eichel is far from being the best, but it’s an area where he can definitely improve. In his career, Jack Eichel has won 43.7 percent of his faceoffs which isn’t good for an elite center.

The Center Position For the Habs

Everybody knows that the Canadiens have been looking for a first-line center for years now. With Jesperi Kotkaniemi taking longer than some expected to establish himself in the NHL and maybe never reaching that elite potential, acquiring a player like Eichel is crucial for the Habs in order to have success soon. Also, while Nick Suzuki has shown some high-end skill, it will take him a few more seasons to be the player that Montreal desperately needs. While he’s been playing very well, we can all agree that Phillip Danault is not a first-line center on a Stanley Cup-winning team. As for Max Domi, he plays better when Claude Julien puts him on the wing as he doesn’t play like a natural center.

With that being said, we can all agree that Montreal still needs that top centerman to have a shot at the Stanley Cup shortly. The lack of pure skill down the middle is a big reason why they haven’t made the playoffs these past few seasons. They have the high-intensity players and the two-way guys down the middle, but they still need that superstar center. Eichel would fit in perfectly with the Canadiens. His skill and his ability to finish plays is something the Habs are desperately looking for. He would allow Claude Julien to put Danault on the second or third line playing against the opposite team’s top-line while Eichel could focus on finishing plays. Also, it would allow Suzuki and Kotkaniemi to take their time to develop and not be rushed into a role that they’re not ready to take on.

What Could Montreal Offer?

The Habs have a lot to offer Buffalo in an eventual trade for Eichel. The first asset that comes to mind is Jesperi Kotkaniemi. Kotkaniemi had a decent rookie season with the Habs ending the season with 34 points in 79 games. This season, he struggled with consistency and was sent down to Laval where he found his game. He is still a good prospect that could end up becoming a top 6 forward regardless of the issues he encountered this season.  The Habs wouldn’t be thrilled with the idea of trading the 3rd overall pick from the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, but there is a price to pay to get a player as talented as Jack Eichel.

The second asset that comes to mind is Max Domi. Domi has expressed clearly that he wants to play center in Montreal. We won’t enter the debate about whether or not he should play center, but with the potential arrival of Eichel, the emergence of Suzuki, and the two-way game of Danault, there wouldn’t be any place for #13 down the middle. Domi would bring competitiveness to a team that has had difficulty playing the full 60 minutes every night. We know Domi has the talent to put up a good amount of points every season which would help with the Sabres possibly moving on from Jack Eichel.

Finally, Montreal has a lot of draft picks to offer. The Habs currently have 14 selections in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft with three of them being second-round picks. It’s hard to believe that Marc Bergevin would hold on to all 14 picks Montreal owns. Also, it would make sense for Buffalo to get picks in this deal since they only have 6 picks in the upcoming draft.

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29 Responses You are logged in as Test

    1. well add poelhing to that and next year protect 1st , i think if they need to move him out thats as good deal they can get.
      your geting your geting 4 1st round picks : one which could be maybe 1st linne b center in kk , domi a good 2 c,poelhing a 3c and 1st overal.

      1. Would probably take KK, Domi and 2 first round picks. If you dont want to give up the entire future we could give KK, Gally and a 2nd.

    1. I think Eichel wouldn’t be as frustrated as he is in Buffalo because he could still be the first-line center, but with a team around him able to support. I also believe that with Eichel, Montreal could make the playoffs next season.

  1. Why the heck is there so many ads to get to the comment section? I almost gave up while scrolling down!

    I’d do our entire draft (This years first included if we don’t win the lottery(Top 2 protected 1st round pick next year otherwise)and Domi.

      1. Fine. Any trade would be after the playoffs so if we win the play in, they can have it ?, domi and the rest of the 2020 draft . And next years 1st round pick ( top 2 protected).

  2. After getting burned in the O’Riely trade, I don’t think Botterell will take a chance moving another first line center. Jack needs to put on his big boy pants and act like a captain.

  3. Would take 3 First round draft picks
    3 High Prospects cost controlled – Cole, Jesperi + another..
    and a cap dump to Montreal (Okposo)

    1. No one is giving 3 firsts and 3 high prospects.

      Name a single trade that was 6 for 1 with 3 firsts and 3 high prospects.

      Offer sheets with 4 firsts never happen due to the cost, and you are looking at 6 pieces plus an additional cap dump?

  4. Buffalo will want the moon for Eichel. He’s on a good deal concerning his talent, still entering his prime, and the Buffalo fan base NEEDS winning now. If I were to trade Eichel, it would be a big old-time hockey deal, with picks included. The culture in Buffalo stinks, anyone can see that. They have changed just about anything that can be changed, a bigger shakeup of needed.
    Eichel, Ristolienen (butchered), and Okoposo; for Kokeniemi, Tatar, Domi, Petry, 2020 top pick, and 2021 2nd (unconditional).

    Both franchises need to win now, but it will cost Montreal center depth and a very good D man, but they would get a budding superstar. I think this is a fair deal.

  5. Lmao you might as well throw in Price, a 2027 unprotected first and Lafleur… Trade is never happening

  6. Nah lol, not a single chance of this happening at all. Buffalo will never agree to trade him let alone to an inner conference and divisional rival. Good wishful thinking though!

  7. Any deal for Eichel will likely look something like this:

    MTL 1st round pick 2020
    STL 2nd round pick 2020

    This is a deal Sabres will consider seriously, a top offensive and defensive prospect, a capable centermen in Domi, a top 10 draft pick and a 2nd round pick. If Buffalo want to plan for the futur this is a good deal for a payer that is unhappy in Buffalo and want sout

  8. Uh…no. You are all delusional. Sabres don’t want Kotkaniemi. Eichel is a ppg+ franchise center and is turning 24. Oh yeah he is signed for SIX more years at only 10 mil per.

    You want Eichel?Sorry you don’t have the pieces.

    Eichel would cost 2-3 1sts, an elite top 10 prospect in the world and a replacement top 6 50-60 point forward. Minimum. Habs don’t come close.

  9. First, I’ve never seen where Eichel has said trade me. He said he’s tired of losing and I think that is aimed at management to get better players in. Second, as someone said can’t see Montreal being a trade partner and then having to see Eichel 5-6 times a year. Los Angles would be a better trade partner as they have a strong prospect pool and they are out west if Eichel were to be traded. Being we are short a second line center now it makes no sense in trading our top line center. It’s also been said none of the UFA’s are being brought back, they wanted Larsson back but it looks like he wants a change.

    Now if Eichel were to be traded what the cost would be is interesting. I have no idea. First line center heading into their prime aren’t usually traded

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