It’s done. It’s finally done.
The longest running saga in Buffalo Sabres hockey history is finally over.
Jack Eichel has been traded to the Vegas Golden Knights for a a couple of players and some draft picks. Months and months of fantasy hockey scenarios with pretty much all 31 of the other NHL teams and a variety of players and draft picks will finally be put to rest as we have the details now of what the trade entails.
Buffalo Sabres get: Alex Tuch [IR], Peyton Krebs, 2022 1st Round pick [top-10 protected*], Vegas 2023 2nd Round pick
Vegas Golden Knights get: Jack Eichel**, Sabres 2023 3rd Round pick
* If the Vegas 2022 1st Rd pick is in the top 10, then the Sabres get Vegas’ 2023 first-round pick (unprotected) and second-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft, while the Sabres will transfer their own third-round pick in 2024 to Vegas.
** Buffalo will retain none of Eichel’s $10million per year salary
So, now that the deed is done and the dust is starting to settle on this trade, let’s talk about how Sabres General Manager Kevyn Adams did on this trade. His stance from the beginning has been that Buffalo is not comfortable with Eichel getting the surgery and preferred the disc fusion method of healing, while the player’s camp insisted surgery was the way forward. A few teams sided with Buffalo while another few were willing for Eichel to take the risks that come with the surgery.
Adams had insisted that he was looking for four first rounders or thereabouts in any trade, be it in any combination of players, prospects and picks. It’s not quite what the Sabres landed up with in the end.
In this trade, the Sabres get a player in Tuch who is a Syracuse native and at 25 has already played in 255 NHL games, including 66 postseason games (more than all the current Sabres combined). The rightwinger is a 0.55ppg contributor and once he recovers from his offseason shoulder injury will be a top six forward right away.
Krebs is a 20-year-old, drafted at #17 overall in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft (Sabres picked Dylan Cozens at #7). The prospect is highly thought of and has had stellar showings for Canada at various junior levels.
With Vegas’s 2022 first round pick being top ten protected, it appears Adams has ceded some ground there, especially with how loaded this next draft is considered to be. However, the conditions on the protection do seem to favor the Sabres, with an unprotected 2023 first rounder and a 2024 second rounder, while sending back a 2024 third rounder.
Early indications are that the 2023 Draft is going to be a good one, so this could still work out for Buffalo. The 2023 second rounder is unprotected, and unless Vegas go on a long playoff run, should be a top 50 pick, which shortens the odds of getting a good player.
Now that the deed is done, let’s talk about GMKA. Did he get the best possible trade that was out there? Should he have held out for more, or for longer? Or has he overplayed his hand by waiting too long and there isn’t much available now?
Grade the GM and tell us in the comments below why you voted like you did.