The NHL offseason is about to start with the NHL Expansion Draft on Wednesday night, as the new Seattle Kraken select players all other 31 NHL teams to fill out their roster.

Then, the first round of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft is on Friday night and that's when some really interesting things could happen with the Buffalo Sabres roster.

The NHL currently has a trade freeze in place until Thursday morning, but many are predicting a very active 48 hours for trades, from Thursday morning to Saturday.

The center of attention right now is Sabres captain Jack Eichel.

Eichel has five years remaining on his contract with a $10 million cap hit. He also has a no-movement clause that kicks in starting next season.

Many NHL insiders, including TSN's Darren Dreger, are expecting Eichel to be moved by Buffalo this offseason and the most popular time to trade someone like Eichel is the NHL Entry Draft.

But what are the Sabres hoping to get in return for their disgruntled star centre?

According to The Fourth Period, the asking price from the Sabres for Eichel includes:

  • Two current NHL players
  • Two top prospects and/or first-round picks

Basically, a minimum of four assets.

What's clouding all of this is the fact Eichel may need surgery on his injured neck. That would need to be worked out if Eichel is traded.

There's chatter that the New York Rangers and Minnesota Wild are two teams most invested in a potential Eichel trade, while the Sabres reportedly are heavy with Rasmus Ristolainen trade discussions, as the veteran defenseman could be moved this week.

You can also add Sam Reinhart to the "trade mix."

The Fourth Period has said that Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams has had talks with teams before the trade freeze regarding Reinhart and would reportedly want an NHL-ready player as part of a package in return for Reinhart.

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We shall see what Adams does between Thursday morning and through the weekend. While Eichel could certainly be traded after the draft, the draft capital would be enticing for the Sabres this year.

I think they're past the point of no return with these players, especially Eichel. The Sabres are clearly in rebuilding mode and that won't include Eichel, Reinhart and Ristolainen, who surely don't want to stick around for that.

Buffalo Sabres Goalie Masks

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