Jack Eichel will not return to the ice this season.
The Buffalo Sabres captain has been ruled out for the remainder of the 2020-21 campaign with a herniated disc in his neck, the team announced Wednesday.
Eichel is expected to be healthy and ready to play at the beginning of the 2021-22 season.
The 24-year-old notched two goals and 16 assists in 21 games this season. He hasn't played since March 7 against the New York Islanders.
Buffalo has struggled immensely this season, so even if Eichel returned, it wouldn't do much to help the team's playoff chances. The Sabres are 10-25-7 and hold the worst record in the NHL. The club is well on its way to matching the NHL record for missing the playoffs at 10 consecutive seasons.
The Sabres drafted Eichel second overall in 2015 out of Boston University. He has 355 points (139 goals, 216 assists) in 375 games.