Boston To Buffalo: Eichel and Rodrigues Remain Teammates

evan rodrigues jack eichel

The 716 is about to find out what everyone in the 617 has been buzzing about.

Boston University’s 2014-15 first line, who led the Terriers to the Frozen Four Finals last season, is ready to take the NHL by storm.

The Buffalo Sabres, who held the second overall selection in the 2015 NHL draft, selected BU freshman forward Jack Eichel, who led BU with 71 points last season. This marked the highest point total for any NCAA freshman since the 1990s.

Buffalo all but knew Eichel would be a Sabre after receiving the #2 pick in the NHL Draft lottery. But fans didn’t expect the Sabres to pick up another Terrier, let alone Eichel’s line-mate.

After finishing out four years at Boston University, and having his best year yet with 61 points, Evan Rodrigues signed a two-year deal with the Buffalo Sabres. In 2014-15, Rodriguez placed second in the Hockey East in both assists per game and total points overall, and that was enough for Buffalo to pick up the recent grad in free agency.

As a team, the Sabres have dramatically improved for the 2015-2016 season thanks to several offseason trades. Adding rookies Eichel and Rodrigues only adds to Buffalo fans’ excitement, especially since the duo had excellent chemistry at Boston University.

Rodrigues and Eichel played on the same line with the Terriers, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they will in Buffalo. The Sabres are a much deeper team than in years’ past with the emergence of Tyler Ennis as a first-line player and the acquisition of Evander Kane from the Winnipeg Jets.

Rodrigues also still has to make the team (well, Eichel does too, but…. that’s a foregone conclusion). In fact, Hockey’s Future does not rank Rodrigues with any of the top Sabres prospects despite the team committing to him with a two-year deal.

“I just want to show everyone that’s in the stands what I’m capable of and what I can do and that I can play at the next level,” Rodrigues said in the Sabres press release on July 12th. “The Sabres are making moves and not staying stagnant. They’ve made some big moves that maybe people didn’t expect, but it’s great to see. Hopefully, I can be a part of it.”

SabresProspects.com ranks Rodrigues as their 13th ranked prospect and Eichel as the top prospect with the team.

The first time that Sabre fans, and Terrier fans, can see the pair in action  is the Prospects Challenge at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo from September 12th-14th.

Author: Marisa Ingemi

Marisa covers sports (mostly baseball, hockey, and lacrosse) for ESPN New Hampshire, In Lacrosse We Trust, BU News Service, Inside Hockey, the Patriot League Network, and a wide range of other places.

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