Many, including myself, very disappointed when the Sabres did not win the lottery otherwise know as the Connor McDavid sweepstakes. How big of a difference is there really between McDavid and Eichel? How likely is it that Eichel could even be better than Connor McDavid?
There are things Eichel is better than McDavid at. One is his shot. Eichel has an elite shot, one that's already top level in the NHL. McDavid does have a good shot, but it's not elite like Eichel's. This gives Eichel a wider range on the ice to score from. Similar to like Phil Kessel can. No matter where they are on the ice, they can score from there. McDavid cannot do that. Now McDavid can get himself to his scoring areas with ease, so I'm not trying to talk down McDavid's ability to put the puck in the net.
Another thing Eichel is better at is his physicality, and puck possession. Eichel does not get bumped off the puck in college. He's 6 foot 2 and about 200 pounds at the age of 18. He likely will fill out even more, making him a monster. It will be nearly impossible to take him off the puck. Puck possession numbers will be through the roof. His long stick gives him another advantage, he can control the puck on a much larger radius around his body than other players.
Eichel still has the speed, and the hands that elite players have. He's responsible defensively and he can throw hard hits on anyone. He has puck possession ability like Anze Kopitar, hands like Getzlaf, and speed like Sidney Crosby. Another thing is he's putting up numbers in college that no one else has done. McDavid's numbers have been accomplished in juniors.
There is a chance that Eichel is better. I would put those odds at about 25%. It also helps Eichel has a much better group around him than McDavid does.