Dion Phaneuf lauds Jack Eichel for being ‘far beyond his years’

Dion Phaneuf was pretty impressed with Jack Eichel.
Charles LeClaire/Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

The Toronto Maple Leafs got their first look at Jack Eichel and the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday, and Dion Phaneuf came away from the meeting with a good first impression of Sabres rookie Jack Eichel.

Phaneuf went out of his way following the Leafs' 2-1 shootout loss to the Sabres to issue praise for Eichel.

“I know he’s only 18,” Phaneuf told reporters, “But Jack Eichel is far beyond his years.”

Eichel left that strong impression despite failing to register a point for the Sabres and finishing the evening with a minus-1. But Wednesday was one of those nights where the stat sheet does not tell the whole story, as Eichel helped establish relentless pressure against the Leafs and posted a season-high six shots on net in the game. 

Eichel's played prompted NBC Sports TV analysts to compare him to Mario Lemieux, and the further praise from Phaneuf shows the second overall pick of the draft is more than just a consolation prize.

(h/t Toronto Sun)

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