Jack Eichel to Debut for Golden Knights on Wednesday After November Trade from Sabres

Erin WalshFebruary 14, 2022

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - NOVEMBER 08:  Newly acquired Vegas Golden Knights player Jack Eichel celebrates a kid's goal as he participates in a youth clinic at a ball hockey rink at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada on November 8, 2021 in North Las Vegas, Nevada. The Golden Knights traded for Eichel and a conditional draft pick from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for Alex Tuch, Peyton Krebs and two conditional draft picks on November 4. Eichel is expected to be available four months after undergoing an artificial disc replacement surgery in his neck.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The already star-studded Vegas Golden Knights will get a boost Wednesday when one of the NHL's most exciting players makes his highly anticipated return to the ice.

Jack Eichel will debut for his new team Wednesday against the Colorado Avalanche at T-Mobile Arena, general manager Kelly McCrimmon announced Monday, via ESPN's Emily Kaplan.

"I always had the date circled for a while; I just had to go through all the protocols," Eichel said. "I just feel like I'm back at that point where I'm ready to play. I just want to get back in there and get the confidence back in playing a game."

Eichel has not played since March 7, when he was a member of the Buffalo Sabres. He was traded in November and underwent artificial disk replacement surgery to repair a herniated disk in his neck.

The 25-year-old had been at odds with the Sabres, who wanted him to have neck fusion surgery instead.

The Sabres drafted Eichel second overall in 2015, and he quickly made a name for himself after a collegiate career at Boston University. The Massachusetts native tallied 139 goals and 216 assists in 375 games across six seasons.

According to Kaplan, Eichel practiced Monday on Vegas' first line with Max Pacioretty.

Eichel could help the Golden Knights (59 points in 48 games) separate themselves from the Calgary Flames (58 in 45), Los Angeles Kings (55 in 47) and Anaheim Ducks (55 in 49) in the Pacific Division. 

Vegas is 28-17-3 after a 6-0 loss at the Flames on Wednesday. Jonathan Marchessault leads the team with 20 goals, and Chandler Stephenson has 38 points.