BREAKING: Live From Agganis Arena, Jack Eichel Very Good At Hockey

Jack Eichel scored two goals and added one assist in a 6-4 Boston University win over the USA U-18 team at Agganis Arena on Saturday night (Photo: Mike Ashmore)

Jack Eichel scored two goals and added one assist in a 6-4 Boston University win over the USA U-18 team at Agganis Arena on Saturday night (Photo: Mike Ashmore)

BOSTON — There is a foregone conclusion — has been for a while, actually — that Erie Otters standout Connor McDavid will be the first overall selection in the 2015 NHL Draft.

And then you see Jack Eichel.  And then you have to re-think everything you ever were told was written in stone about who’s going where when Gary Bettman stands at the podium in June.

Eichel is still just 17 years old.  He’s 6-foot-2, 194 pounds.  And damn, is he good.  After an up and down first period against the USNTDP U-18 squad at Agganis Arena on Saturday night, the North Chelmsford, Mass. native kicked his game into another gear for his Boston University Terriers in the second period.  Following an even strength goal that banked off a defenseman an in, Eichel used impressive acceleration to get past a defender on the rush on the right wing side and fire a wrister from the right faceoff dot that was in the back of the net in the blink of an eye.

“Jack garners a lot of attention and rightfully so…(he’s) got that world-class skill set and the physical ability to turn it on and off in the game whenever he wants and really be dominant,” Terriers head coach David Quinn said after the game.

Eichel was flanked on either wing by juniors Ahti Oksanen and Danny O’Regan, a line that could be for BU what Johnny Gaudreau, Bill Arnold and Kevin Hayes were for BC just a year ago.

“I love that first line…I like what I see, but I think their best hockey is ahead of them.  I think they’re really going to be a line that’s going to be difficult for other teams to match up against.  I think they’re just scratching the surface.”

But the focus — even when facing a team that Quinn said might be the most skilled one his club faces all year in the USA U-18 squad — was on Eichel, as it will be all season long.  However, the chemistry between he and his linemates will be critical to the success of everyone involved going forward, a point that was not lost on anyone involved.

“It’s a real unselfish line,” said O’Regan, himself a draft choice of the San Jose Sharks.

“Right off the bat, it kind of worked out.  We seem to find each other in the right spot at the right time.”

Added Eichel: “I think it’s been good, it’s a lot of fun playing with Danny and Ahti.  They’re two really good players, so it’s nice to be able to go to school with them every day.  You get to know them, and you build chemistry off the ice, and I think that translates onto the ice.  But they’re two unbelievable players, so it’s a lot of fun.”

And so is watching Eichel, who dazzled those lucky enough to be in attendance with his highlight reel goal at the 4:43 mark of the second period.

“We drew up a new power play breakout this week…I just tried to move my feet and stay with it.  Coach is on us to attack on the rush, and I saw a seam.  The goalie was cheating a little bit off his post, so I tried to just zip one to the net real quick.  We got a fortunate bounce and I was able to beat him.”

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT


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