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Jack Eichel, the National Hockey League’s number two draft pick, has left Boston University to play professional hockey for the Buffalo Sabres. Eichel, who would have been a sophomore this fall, was selected by the Sabres in June in the first round of the 2015 NHL draft.

Entering the league as a rookie, Eichel (CGS’16) reportedly signed a three-year entry-level contract that gives him the rookie maximum of $925,000 a year. According to the Buffalo News, with bonuses his salary could be closer to $3 million annually.

“I’d like to thank the Boston University family for everything that they have done for me,” Eichel said in a statement. “This past season has been one of the best years of my life. I’d like to especially thank Coach Quinn and his staff, all of the equipment and medical personnel, my teammates, my academic advisors, and the entire athletics department. I’m looking forward to starting the next chapter in my life with the Buffalo Sabres, but I will always be indebted to BU.”

Eichel won this year’s Hobey Baker Award, the highest individual honor given to an NCAA hockey player, and he was instrumental in a turnaround season that saw the Terriers advance to the NCAA Frozen Four before losing to Providence in the final game.

In the video above, watch a short profile of Jack Eichel as a BU freshman; he was one of college hockey’s most talked about players. Video by Bill Politis

Sabres general manager Tim Murray told the press that drafting the 18-year-old Eichel was the easiest decision of his career, one that could potentially transform the Sabres, who finished last in the NHL last season.

Eichel, who hails from Chelmsford, Mass., led the nation in points (71) and assists (45) and drove the Terriers to the Hockey East regular season and tournament titles and the 2015 Beanpot title—BU’s 30th, the most of the 4 competing schools. The Terriers finished the season 28-8-5. In addition, Eichel was the 2015 Hockey East scoring champion, Rookie of the Year, and Player of the Year, as well as just the second freshman ever to win the Hobey Baker.

Eichel is the 11th Terrier in program history to be an NHL first-round draft pick.

Terrier head coach David Quinn (CAS’89) had appre­ciative parting words for Eichel, who set the BU record for points by a freshman. “My staff and I would like to congratulate Jack on taking another step toward his ultimate goal of playing in the National Hockey League,” Quinn said. “Despite playing here for just one year, his contributions both on and off the ice were immeasurable. We wish him and his family the best of luck.”