Jack Eichel’s draft year (214-15) was certified insanity. Connor McDavid was the generational talent playing for the Erie Otters and he was expected to be the next big thing. All year, however, Eichel was considered to be the greatest consolation prize in draft lottery history.
Eichel played for Team USA at the World Juniors that year in addition to being at Boston University. Whoever had the second overall pick was surely going to get a stud. The tank that season was truly funny to watch as a lot of teams wanted to be in that “McEichel” sweepstakes.
The Edmonton Oilers ended up winning the lottery so that left the Buffalo Sabres, the team with the actual worst record, with the second overall pick. The lottery rules were different back then.
Eichel became a great player with Buffalo as expected. He ended up signing a long-term extension, led them in scoring, and became their captain. However, a disagreement on the surgery he wanted to have to fix an injury led to his trade request.
The Vegas Golden Knights ended up getting their star player in Jack Eichel.
Eventually, he was granted his wish and traded to the Vegas Golden Knights. It took him a minute to get going again following his surgery but he got there. He was a key contributor to the winning the Stanley Cup last spring.
Now, he is firmly back to being the best player on an NHL team. As the defending Stanley Cup Champions, Vegas looks poised to repeat and Eichel is leading the way.
On Thursday night, Vegas defeated a very good Los Angeles Kings team 3-2. Both squads are good enough to win the whole thing. The Golden Knights took this round. They needed the big win to end a four-game losing streak.
Eichel opened the scoring with a very nice snipe. It was one of those shots that just can never be stopped. This was his 16th goal of the season and 40th point in 38 games played.
He has an outside chance to reach 40 goals and 100 points this year too. Vegas isn’t a team that relies on just one guy but it would be cool to see Eichel finally reach these superstar level plateaus. Eichel certainly won’t be far off if he doesn’t get there.
He also is very good defensively which makes him even more valuable. He may sacrifice some offense but he does what is needed to win. Anyone would want a number one center like this if they don’t have one already.
Eichel wins and produces everywhere he goes. It would be nice to see him in the Olympics at some point. Team USA is going to be as deep as they’ve ever been and Eichel will be a big part of the lineup.
Everyone should fear Vegas when the playoffs come around. They have everything they need and Eichel is at the top of his game. This win over the Kings was impressive for the Golden Knights as was Jack Eichel.