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.