Rupp: Eichel has potential to be top-five center next year

August 23, 2017

The NHL Network put together a list of their Top-20 centers right now in the National Hockey League this past week, and Buffalo Sabres forward Jack Eichel landed at 14th on the list. 

The Top 20 Centers Right Now are…. #NHLTopPlayers

— NHL Network (@NHLNetwork) August 21, 2017

Retired NHL forward, and current NHL Network analyst Mike Rupp joined Mike Schopp on Wednesday to discuss the list, but also talk about Eichel and what he needs to do to be considered one of the league's best players this upcoming season. 


On Jack Eichel being 14th on the list:

"He's the one guy that has the potential to rise up and even be in the top five next year."

Regarding Eichel's season:

"When you have those ankle injuries that Eichel had, I mean that's no joke.... What he was battling was a real nuisance, but when he was playing, his numbers are unbelievable."

On Eichel's rank had he been healthy:

"Eichel is able to make so many spectacular plays. In a full healthy season he goes much higher. I'd be surprised if he wasn't over 80 points."

On Sabres in general:

"This team has weapons. Ryan O'Reilly should've been on our list, you've got two centers in the top twenty. If they can put it all together, you can put them into the greatness category."

What to expect from Eichel next season:

"I'm not saying Jack's going to win the Hart, but the jump that McDavid made from year one to year two, I look for that similar jump with Jack being healthy."

Comparing Eichel to Matthews and Eichel:

"When you look at Jack, he had a great year, the team didn't. It's more of what those other guys did, that's the gap."

You can here Rupp's entire interview with Schopp below: