The Vegas Golden Knights will be represented well at this weekend’s All-Star Game, with Jonathan Marchessault joining Mark Stone and Alex Pietrangelo at the hometown event. There’s another star player who has stolen the headlines today though, as Golden Knights head coach Pete DeBoer told reporters including David Schoen of the Las Vegas Review-Journal that Jack Eichel could be cleared for contact after the break.
Eichel, recovering from artificial disk replacement surgery in November, was originally given an aggressive three-month timeline to return to action. When he was spotted on the ice just a few weeks after surgery it appeared as though it would be possible and now it seems his return is right around the corner.
Obviously, there are still the normal caveats that come with any player returning from injury, but Eichel’s Golden Knights debut will likely come with even more caution and patience because of his position as the first NHL player to receive this procedure. Chicago Blackhawks forward Tyler Johnson, who underwent the same surgery in December, is expected back in March according to Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times, which would be along the same three-month timetable.
DeBoer even went so far as to say that Eichel has been the best player on the ice at some recent practices, a dream scenario for the Golden Knights after taking a substantial risk in acquiring him earlier this season. The hope is that Eichel can return to full strength quickly and become a game-changing center at the top of the Vegas lineup, but that certainly is no guarantee after he missed so much time waiting for surgery. The 25-year-old’s last NHL game was played on March 7, 2021.
“… as the first NHL player to receive this procedure.” Thank you, @Gavin. I think it still needs to be stated that Jack is not the first hockey player to have this procedure done, but rather the first NHL player. The minor league players who had ADR have gotten the short end, to a degree, and basically left on the side of the road. They don’t have a high pedigree, so they weren’t “counted” as being the true first players. That said, with Jack’s stature, more players (at all levels) should be less hesitant to go through this procedure, if it is recommended to them. It’ll be great to see both Jack and Tyler getting back on the ice in the near future.
This could really be the piece that puts Vegas over the top. And I hope it does to quiet the Eichel critics.
Still a risk. Sabres were not comfortable with that surgery & $50mil is a lot of money to risk on it.
Roam Hockey on YouTube did a breakdown months ago of stats & winning % before & with Jack. The team did score more goals & allowed more goals with Jack playing but the winning % was just .01% better.
There’s risk with any surgery. By the looks of it, Jack made a wise decision.
March 9th Vegas in Buffalo what a storyline. Eichel scores 3…in his return…
Do the Knights have the cap space currently to bring him up without issue?
If your the Golden Knights your happy to hear that his procedure went well and the next step is to get back on the ice after two years of bickering. Antonio Bryant of the NHL? His attitude is a bigger risk than his neck.