Auston Matthews, Jack Eichel among current top-20 scorers to build around – ESPN

Jack Eichel ranks 12th in the league in points, with 11 in nine games, for a Sabres team that has just 25 goals on the season, while Toronto’s Auston Matthews has 47 goals and 81 points through 91 career NHL games. 

11:56 AM ET Among the current top 20 scorers, whom would you choose to build a team around?

Greg Wyshynski: There’s obviously only one answer: Connor McDavid of the Edmonton — wait, what? He’s 58th in points? What a nutty season.

With McDavid out, I imagine many would select Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins, who is technically tied for No. 20 in scoring with 10 points in nine games. I imagine most would select Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs, who along with McDavid is demonstrably a player who can change the trajectory of a franchise through his skill and will, and he is 10 years younger than Crosby.

You’ll get no quarrel from me on selecting Matthews. He does just about everything you’d want from a franchise player — except be an outsize personality that not only draws eyes via his performance on the ice, but also through his brashness off the ice. Which is why Jack Eichel of the Buffalo Sabres, the Salieri of American hockey to Matthews’s Mozart, would be my selection.

Eichel is No. 12 in points with 11 in nine games for a team that has just 25 goals on the season. In his past 70 games, Eichel is nearly a point per game player (0.97) on an abjectly terrible team. He’s got the talent to be one of those centers — like Matthews and McDavid — who can be a lethal goal scorer and an inventive playmaker. And there’s a sizable personality bubbling under the surface of a young

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