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Table Is Set For Eichel To Lead VGK’s Offense To The Postseason

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Golden Knights head coach Bruce Cassidy will be Jack Eichel’s sixth in his seven-season career. Some point fingers at the 25-year-old and say it’s a pattern. Others are willing to give him a pass based on Buffalo’s inability to dress a competitive team. No matter which side you are on, all are hoping that Eichel has his best years under Cassidy.

You can’t win the Stanley Cup unless you get in the playoffs. When I came here, the standard here is the Stanley Cup. And that’s our goal. Obviously, I think we all understand the situation that we’re in. -Jack Eichel, May 2022

In Buffalo, Eichel had his best seasons playing for head coach Phil Housley. In 2018-19, the former Sabre totaled 82 points (28 Goals, 54 Assists) and finished in the top 25 in both points and assists. Eichel had another strong campaign in 2019-20, averaging (1.15 PPG) more than a point a game. However, he watched the playoffs from home.

Eichel’s Top Three Seasons

  • 2018-19: 82 Points (28 G, 54 A), 77 Games, 1.06 Points Per Game, 26 Power Play Points
  • 2019-20: 78 Points (36 G, 42 A), 68 Games, 1.15 Points Per Game, 27 Power Play Points
  • 2017-18: 64 Points (25 G, 39 A), 67 Games, 0.96 Points Per Game, 20 Power Play Points

*One Season w/ Vegas: 25 Points (14 G, 11 A), 34 Games, 0.74 Points Per Game, 8 Power Play Points

Eichel’s environment and well-being are much different now. He’s healthy and plays for a competitive and stable organization. Although it was only 34 games, and with a team plagued with injuries, the limited time he did spend with his teammates will greatly benefit Eichel in training camp. A new structured coach, better teammates, and an aggressive owner set up well for the three-time All-Star.

Being able to play almost three months after having surgery was definitely about as fast as possible. I think whenever you have a major surgery and something of that magnitude, I think it takes more than just a few months to feel completely back to yourself. -Eichel

Last season Eichel averaged 0.41 goals per game and 0.32 assists per game after being out for almost a year. His goals per game average was higher than Jonathan Marchessault’s (0.39) and just under Max Pacioretty’s (0.49). Of course, Eichel played 46 fewer games than Marchessault last season but it’s still a sign in the right direction. After a summer of giving away offense, it’s possible Eichel will need to produce much more than 0.74 points per game. If he manages to play 75+ games, the opportunity to shine for Eichel is here in Vegas, and under Cassidy.

We think we have a group that can win the Stanley Cup every year. But I think if you take a step back and look at where I was a year ago, and where I am now, I think there’s a lot of positives to take out of that. I went through a lot last year. -Eichel

As short as it was, the honeymoon for Eichel is over. This is the franchise’s sixth season. Fans and team ownership have extremely high expectations and are becoming impatient. It isn’t Eichel’s fault the Golden Knights haven’t won a Stanley Cup but he did inherit a strict six-year ownership pledge. So, yeah the pressure is on Eichel. And it’s on Cassidy, on captain Mark Stone, and on the entire organization. It’s not fair to expect Connor McDavid’s numbers but if Eichel can score and assist at a higher rate, a deep playoff run isn’t out of the question.

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19 Comments

  1. George L.

    I certainly hope he scores a shit ton, especially since he’s only a one way center

  2. We got no shot if he doesn’t score 35 goals and alot of assists, no way. We gave up a beast for this guy and a ton of Cap space and Krebs. If this doesn’t work out, we got no shot. I’m not being negative, but if this doesn’t work out, the front office needs to be gone, just thrown out. I don’t give these 2 GM’s a pass for doing this if Eichel falls flat, no !! Guys like Tuch don’t grow on trees, they just don’t. Krebs ?? He never got a shot here. It just bothers me. I don’t want to be in the wilderness, having a terrible team and it looks inevitable if Eichel isn’t a complete stud.

    • Obvious

      Krebs? You’ve got to be bloody joking. He may be one of the most over marketed pylons to play in this league. This year in Buffalo, out the 265 rookies in the league pylon Krebs had the worst plus minus rating of all of them. He is a massive liability ever single time he slithers onto the ice. Besides the fact he gets scored on 2-3 times a game he barely scored any goals. How anyone thinks he is a viable nhl player must be delusional. What team needs a player like this. Laughable. Utterly laughable. Titan sport’s management printed the hell out of this pylon and he hasn’t come close to living up to anything

  3. ……and we will find out whether JE is a very good players or one of the best in the NHL during his prime. I can see him scoring 75 points and being -10 in plus minus though…….

  4. By the way I have no issue with the Eichel trade. A support player, a B-Level prospect (Krebs has a shot to prove me wrong but MOST A level prospects have made it by 20YO) and a mid 1st rounder. I dont think thats excessive. The cap issue resulting from the trade shouldnt color whether it was a good trade or not, thats a management issue.

    • Good points, it’s so up in the air. We just don’t know yet. We will know by December though. It’s just disturbing seeing the self inflicted wounds we have done. We all remember how we just dominated teams just 13 months ago, I mean we crushed Colorado, that was beautiful, that was as fun as our Cup run. I just don’t want to see us getting embarrassed, especially, since we have been so good. I hope your right about JE, boy do we need that guy big time.

      • Considering the injuries to top players I’d say they did pretty good…..They always seemed a team built for the playoffs more than the regular season, so if they sneak in, even at the 4th/5th seed, they should do some damage.

  5. Jason – what are you smoking these days – “Eichel’s environment and well-being are much different now. He’s healthy and plays for a competitive and stable organization”. What part of that statement is true – yes environment is different for sure if you ever live in Buffalo apart from that you’re guessing on health and as far as a competitive and stable organization that is a total laugh. They are weaker now than ever and I seriously question if they possess the killer winning attitude necessary to succeed. Just my opinion and I hope I am wrong – time will tell. The FO has made a number of very poor decisions that will come home to haunt them and unfortunately also some of the fans who believe they have done a great job.

  6. THE hockey GOD

    year 1 FO = great
    year 2 FO = great
    year 3 FO = great
    year 4 Fo = great
    year 5 FO = sucks

    year 1 we need a no. 1 center
    year 2 we need a no. 1 center
    year 3 we need a no 1 center
    year 4 we need a no. 1 center
    year 5 we got a no. 1 center and FO sucks

  7. knights fan in minny

    talk about pressure

  8. Sometimes I wonder what this team would be w/out a cap….90’s Redwings?

  9. Seth Bayles

    I’m way more concerned about Stone than Eichel. Stone has downright sucked for two seasons and Eichel..it’s just a matter of how good he will be. If Stone returns to Selke form and Eichel does what he’s supposed to, we have a chance. Still odd we haven’t signed Stasny btw..

    • Obvious

      Like Eichel stones injury puts him 1 hit away from ending his career. And now that his sidekick has been kicked off the bus it’s stormy weather she’s for stone. He has no chemistry w anyone else. I think his best days are in his rear view mirror. He sucked in the Montreal play offs when he was healthy and that can’t be easily dismissed. Hope is a losing strategy

    • Alot of people in buffalo dont like him because he did what was best for himself, and not what the team wanted. People in buffalo are pretty thin skinned when it comes to stuff like that.when this guy is right there aren’t to many players better than him, only concern is attitude, but he was young and probably felt the weight of the franchise on him. This is coming from someone in buffalo, hw will produce no doubt

  10. Original 6✅

    @THG. i laughed because that post is exactly so spot on that they traded. 3 scorers to get one center and under the cap and now we’re crossing fingers this guy doesn’t get injured & score 50 goals. comical FO not to mention we need a pwr play line that can’t score

    • NHLBoy36

      If Eichel gets hurt, the Knights are screwed. They csn’t hold on to anybody. No Knights players are safe. @Original6 and @TheHockey God sshout out to you guys. You inspire me to write here all the time now. Thanks guys

  11. Obvious

    Jack has yet to live up to his draft pick. It was a toss up at draft time who would be better mcdavid or jack. Well everyone knows how that turned out. Jack has failed to live up to expectations. Que up the endless excuses… however it is what it is.

    Now add on to the pile his unfortunate injury. His injury is so tenuous he is just 1 hit from his career being over. One hit. No way he will be the wrecking ball mcdavid or McKinnon are. It’s gonna be a lot of dancing around the fringe hoping others do the heavy lifting for him.

    I hope he does well but history to date sadly implies mediocrity

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