Jack Eichel has begun skating in his slow but steady return to the NHL. The newly acquired Golden Knight has been spotted skating in North Carolina by Brandon Wong, a skill and development hockey coach. Eichel underwent successful artificial disk replacement surgery on November 12, 2021.
Eichel was spotted in full Vegas Golden Knights gear complete with number nine on the back of his helmet. The video does not show much, just Eichel skating around a little bit, but it is a huge step in his development towards making his debut with the Golden Knights.
Eichel is expected to miss up until the end of the NHL’s Winter Olympic Break in February of 2022. The superstar center only played 21 games last season with the Buffalo Sabres before his injury got to a point where he could no longer play. Eichel is the only player in NHL history to ever have artificial disk replacement surgery.
Coincidentally this week, Alex Tuch was also spotted joining the Sabres in practice. Tuch was, of course, the main piece going the other way in the blockbuster deal for Eichel which happened on Nov. 4th.
The Golden Knights are currently missing Eichel, William Karlsson, Nolan Patrick, Alec Martinez, and potentially now Mark Stone from their lineup. The team will be back in action Friday night against the Arizona Coyotes on the road at 6:30 pm.