I'd be ok with the strategy if they simply implemented the same rule that exists for CHL players: that if they go unsigned they have to re-enter the draft. I get why a GM may lean towards a College guy with a later round pick, owing to the 4 years thing you outlined, but it seems a little risky because if you DO end up hitting on a guy, they can just go to FA if they are a later bloomer.
Every single person on the face of the earth is no longer eligible for the NHL draft once they reach the age of 21. What you're suggesting is a punishment to college players, forcing them to go back into the draft while other people their age are free agents. Yes, CHL players do have to re-enter the draft after 2 years. But if they remain unsigned after the four years, they are in the same exact boat as the college player, an unrestricted free agent. If anything, the college kid already has his options limited and now you are suggesting further limiting those. It will never fly and is completely unfair to the player.
What we are complaining about here is such a rarity. Sure we've seen more guys go this route recently (a collectively bargained route, by the way), but for every one of them, there are probably at least 15 college guys who do sign with the team who drafted them. Obviously I'm pulling that number out of my ass, but I hope the point is clear, so many more go the more traditional route.
It would be awfully risky for a player of his caliber to wait it out that long, but one day it'll happen. I fear there won't be a considered rule change until that happens.
Oops, my bad.
If a player of Eichel's status wants to go that route and throw away at least $15 million in salary and countless other dollars made from endorsements, more power to him.