The first round of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft is this Friday night and with the trade freeze around the NHL expiring today, that means the potential trade rumors and reports are heating up.

Everyone in Buffalo wants to know one thing: what happens with captain, Jack Eichel?

Eichel has made it known he isn't happy with the lack of winning with the Sabres and would be open to a new start somewhere else, but his neck injury is likely getting in the way of a trade, but that hasn't stopped teams from looking into landing one of the league's best forwards.

According to Michael Russo of The Athletic, the Minnesota Wild continue to pursue Eichel as they try and get a top-six forward.

The New York Rangers also appear to be a frontrunner for Eichel, as Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff reports that the Rangers have inquired about a top-10 draft pick on Friday, which they would then flip to the Sabres, who reportedly want another lottery pick in an Eichel trade. The Rangers have the 16th-overall pick on Friday.

The Sabres asking price for Eichel, according to Seravalli, is astronomical.

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Time is clearly running out on a trade happening before this year's draft. With the uncertainty surrounding Eichel's neck injury, it's hard to believe a deal will be struck before 8 pm on Friday.

I don't blame General Manager Kevyn Adams and his reported asking price. The Sabres need to get this trade right and should hold out for the best possible deal; this is one of the top four or five offensive players in hockey.

We'll see when and where Eichel goes. Maybe it happens after the draft or perhaps it's feasible it doesn't happen this off-season at all?

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