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Eichel's agents expect him to be traded in 'near future'

Sara Schmidle / National Hockey League / Getty

Jack Eichel's representatives believe the Buffalo Sabres will trade their captain soon.

"Our expectation is that Jack is going to be traded in the near future, and all of our discussions have been centered around that issue," agents Peter Fish and Peter Donatelli told Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman.

Eichel's status was a hot topic at last weekend's draft, but a trade never materialized. The Sabres instead dealt two other core pieces, sending Sam Reinhart to the Florida Panthers and Rasmus Ristolainen to the Philadelphia Flyers. They also drafted top prospect Owen Power with the first overall pick.

Fish and Donatelli confirmed that Eichel is skating but wouldn't clarify if the 24-year-old needs neck surgery. Eichel reportedly wants a disc replacement, but the Sabres won't sign off on the procedure - a clear point of contention during the player's end-of-year press conference.

Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams hasn't shut the door on Eichel returning to Buffalo for the 2021-22 season.

"I would have no problem at all if Jack Eichel is on our team when we start training camp," Adams said after the draft, according to The Buffalo News.

Eichel missed the final two months of the season because of his neck issue. He finished the year with an underwhelming two goals and 16 assists in 21 games but is still bound to attract plenty of suitors on the trade market.

Since being drafted second overall in 2015, Eichel's recorded 355 points in 375 games. He has five years remaining on his contract at $10 million per season, and his no-movement clause kicks in after the upcoming campaign.

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