It has been 94 days since the Vegas Golden Knights acquired Jack Eichel back in early November of 2021. Since then the 25-year old forward has received successful artificial disk replacement surgery on his neck and has slowly recovered in preparation for his first game with the Golden Knights.
After skating with a private trainer in North Carolina, Eichel joined the Golden Knights on the ice about a month ago stating that he felt like a “kid on Christmas.” On Monday, Eichel shed his red/light blue no-contact jersey for a green jersey and is now participating in full contact with the Golden Knights.
Eichel skated on a line with Nolan Patrick and Michael Amadio in line rushes Monday. He also took some shifts with the top powerplay unit. But given as this line operated as a makeshift fifth line for the team, it is unlikely that Eichel will play Tuesday against the Calgary Flames as the Golden Knights return from their All-Star Break.
2/7 VGK practice lines
Pacioretty- Stephenson- Stone
Marchessault- Karlsson- Smith
Janmark- Roy- Dadonov
Carrier- Howden- Kolesar
Patrick- Eichel- Amadio
no Whitecloud #VegasBorn
— Owen Krepps (@OKrepps85) February 7, 2022
Another thing that the Golden Knights will have to wait for regarding Eichel’s return is for the team to free up cap space. With both Eichel and Alec Martinez on long-term injuries reserve, the Golden Knights are currently in the clear in terms of cap space. But removing both of these players and adding them into the Golden Knights lineup would put the team nearly eight million over the NHL’s salary cap.
It seems as if the Golden Knights are bound to be fully healthy for the first time this season. Not only will Eichel join the team but Nicolas Hague is back after a minor injury. Chandler Stephenson and Dylan Coghlan are also out of COVID-19 protocols. Martinez is inching closer to finally returning after taking a skate to the face.
Stay tuned with Vegas Hockey Now for more Golden Knights injury updates on Eichel moving forward. The Golden Knights play the Edmonton Oilers Tuesday on the road at 6:00 pm.