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Sabres select Jack Eichel, acquire Ryan O'Reilly, Jamie McGinn during first round of NHL Draft

by jmaloni


Sat, Jun 27th 2015 08:10 am

Big day for Buffalo Sabres

The Buffalo Sabres acquired three forwards Friday during the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft, beginning with the selection of center Jack Eichel (Boston University - Hockey East) with the second overall pick of the draft. Immediately after the selection, the Sabres acquired forwards Ryan O'Reilly and Jamie McGinn from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for defenseman Nikita Zadorov, forwards Mikhail Grigorenko and JT Compher and the 31st pick in the NHL Draft.

Eichel (age 18, 6'2", 196 pounds) joined Paul Kariya as the second freshman ever to earn the Hobey Baker Memorial Award as college hockey's top player after leading all NCAA players with 71 points (26 goal, 45 assists) in 40 games during his first collegiate season at Boston University in 2014-15.

A native of North Chelmsford, Massachusetts, Eichel led Boston University to a conference championship as the Most Valuable Player of the Hockey East Tournament before adding five points (2/3) in four NCAA Tournament games for the Terriers.

In addition to the Hobey Baker Award, Eichel racked up several other major accolades for his standout freshman season, including NCAA Rookie of the Year, first-team All-American and Hockey East Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year, and was a unanimous selection as a first-team Hockey East All-Star.

Eichel also stood out on the international stage last season, beginning with a 2015 World Junior Championship in which he captained the U.S. squad while serving as the team's top center. After finishing his season at Boston University, Eichel joined Team USA at the 2015 IIHF World Championship, where he became the first draft-eligible player to play for the U.S. in the tournament since Phil Housley did so in 1982. Eichel recorded seven points (2/5) in 10 World Championship games to help Team USA to a bronze medal.

O'Reilly (age 24, 6'0", 210 pounds) joins the Sabres after tallying 55 points (17/38) in 82 games last season as a member of the Avalanche. A native of Clinton, Ontario, he led all Colorado skaters in faceoff percentage (53.3 percent) and takeaways (55), and led all Colorado forwards with 19:43 of ice time per game in 2014-15.

After being selected in the second round (33rd overall) by the Avalanche in 2009, O'Reilly has appeared in six NHL seasons with Colorado, registering at least 50 points in each of the past three full seasons. In 427 NHL regular-season games, he has recorded 246 points (90/156) and 64 penalty minutes, adding seven points (3/4) in 13 postseason games.

A seven-year NHL veteran, McGinn (age 26, 6'1", 210 pounds) has appeared in 366 games with the Avalanche and the San Jose Sharks, recording 128 points (69/59) and 172 penalty minutes. Though he spent most of the 2014-15 season on injured reserve, McGinn registered career-best totals in assists (19) and points (38) in 79 games in 2013-14.

Earlier in the day, the Buffalo Sabres today acquired goaltender Robin Lehner and forward David Legwand from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for the 21st pick in the NHL Draft, previously acquired from the New York Islanders.

Lehner (age 23, 6'5", 225 pounds) joins the Sabres after posting a 9-12-3 record in 25 appearances as a member of the Senators in the 2014-15 season. He has played in parts of five NHL seasons with the Senators after they selected him in the second round (46th overall) of the 2009 NHL Draft.

A native of Gothenburg, Sweden, he made his NHL debut in the 2010-11 season and has since appeared in 86 regular-season games with the Senators, registering a 30-36-13 record with two shutouts, a .914 save percentage and a 2.88 goals-against average.

Before joining Ottawa on a full-time basis, Lehner had a successful AHL career. He backstopped the Binghamton Senators to a Calder Cup Championship in 2010-11, earning the league's postseason Most Valuable Player award, and later earned an AHL All-Star selection in 2012-13 on the strength of his league-best .938 save percentage.

A 17-year NHL veteran and second overall pick in the 1998 NHL Draft, Legwand (age 34, 6'2", 205 pounds) joined the Senators in 2014-15 and recorded 27 points (9 goals, 18 assists) in 80 games last season.

In 1,057 career regular-season games, the forward from Detroit has amassed 604 points (223/381) and 537 penalty minutes. He has appeared in the playoffs in nine of his 17 NHL seasons, tallying 28 points (13/15) in 55 postseason games.

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