Golden Knights and General Hockey Fans Get to Witness Jack Eichel in Playoffs (Finally)
The Vegas Golden Knights have clinched a spot in the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs, which means that every player on the team will get some sort of con…
The Vegas Golden Knights have clinched a spot in the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs, which means that every player on the team will get some sort of confirmed playoff experience. For Alex Pietrangelo, Alec Martinez, and Phil Kessel, it's just another Spring.
But for a handful of players, it will mark their first career trip to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Most of the players that have never made the playoffs in the NHL are players on the younger side with the VGK; Logan Thompson, Paul Cotter, Pavel Dorofeyev, etc. Others have a good chunk of NHL experience and have finally broken free such as Brett Howden and Ben Hutton. But no other player has gone longer without playoffs than Jack Eichel.
Eichel is in his eighth season in the NHL and, after over 470 games played, has finally made it past the regular season. In six years with the Buffalo Sabres, Eichel never made it to the postseason with the team that drafted him, and last season in his first year in Vegas, they also missed the playoffs.
At long last, Eichel will get to play on the highest stage of NHL play against the best teams in the league playing their best hockey. It's hard to know what to expect from Eichel in the playoffs, but for the sake of the game, it's great to have more skilled players involved in the postseason.
Eichel helps headline a Western Conference playoff show that will likely involve all of Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Nathan Mackinnon, Kirill Kaprizov, Jason Robertson, and more. Speaking of some of these star players, let's take a look at how they did in their first playoff outings for a quick comparison.
Here's a thing I put together with other star forwards across the NHL that are around the age of Eichel (plus Sidney Crosby for Gold-standard comparison).
Obviously, a lot of this has to do with team play rather than these players individually, but it's still something to point out nonetheless. Eichel is 26 and most certainly looking to make up for lost time in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
|Player Name/Current Age||First Playoff Trip||Playoff Ratio||Stanley Cups (Age)|
|Sidney Crosby (35)||2007 (Year 2), lost first round to OTT||17/18 seasons||3- 2009 (21), 2016 (28), 2017 (29)|
|Nathan Mackinnon (27)||2014 (Year 1), lost first round to MIN||6/10 seasons||1- 2021 (26)|
|Connor McDavid (26)||2017 (Year 2), lost second round to ANA||4/8 seasons + clinched||0|
|Leon Draisaitl (27)||2017 (Year 3), lost second round to ANA||4/9 seasons + clinched||0|
|Auston Matthews (25)||2017 (Year 1), lost first round to WSH||6/7 seasons + clinched||0|
|Mat Barzal (25)||2019 (Year 3), lost season round to CAR||3/7 seasons||0|
|David Pastrnak (26)||2017 (Year 3), lost first round to OTT||6/8 seasons + clinched||0|
|Matthew Tkachuk (25)||2017 (Year 1), lost first round to ANA||4/6 seasons||0|
|Dylan Larkin (26)||2016 (Year 1), lost first round to TBL||1/8 seasons||0|
|Jack Eichel (26)||2023 (Year 8), TBA||1/8 (this season)||0|
There's an obvious outlier here, and for the Golden Knight's sake, hopefully, it creates some motivation for their top-line center in Eichel. The Golden Knights, in part, got Jack Eichel to sell tickets and score points in the regular season. But the real reason they got him was for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Jack Eichel and the Vegas Golden Knights will begin their Stanley Cup pursuit after they conclude their remaining six games of the regular season. Their next game is on Monday against the Minnesota Wild at 7:00 p.m.