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Golden Knights Jack Eichel Prepared For ‘Intense’ Playoff Debut

Vegas Golden Knights forward Jack Eichel is one of the best players in the NHL that has never played in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. On Tuesday, this …



Vegas Golden Knights forward Jack Eichel is one of the best players in the NHL that has never played in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. On Tuesday, this will finally end as the VGK play the Winnipeg Jets for Game 1 of their playoff series, and Eichel's eight-year drought ends.

It's been a long time coming for Eichel, who, after being drafted no. 2 overall in 2015, spent six years with the Buffalo Sabres organization. In November of 2021, he was traded to the Golden Knights, who missed the playoffs in 2021-22 due to a multitude of reasons, mostly health.

But the expectations for the 2022-23 Golden Knights were to rebound and make the playoffs, which they have done as the top seed in both the Western Conference and Pacific Division. Even just six years into their existence, sights are set on the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas.

"This is a great organization to be in because their expectations are so high. I've said it before, that's the type of place you want to be. You expect the very best out of the guys every night and every year. I think that's a great culture to have," said Eichel.

For the Golden Knights, having Eichel motivated to make up for a lost time in the playoffs will be a major factor.

"I'm excited. I mean, it's something that we've worked hard for to get to the playoffs. So I'm looking forward to it. It should be a great atmosphere. Nothing is better than playoff hockey, I guess; I haven't played in it but watching it, it's always really intense, and I'm looking forward to being a part of it," said Eichel.

A good thing is that the VGK are loaded with veteran leaders such as Alex Pietrangelo and Phil Kessel, who have won Stanley Cups and can be a mentor to Eichel if needed, as well as the other players that are playing in the playoffs for the first time.

"We have a lot of guys in here that have had won and a lot of guys in here that have played a lot of playoff hockey games… I think, at the end of the day, it's hockey, right? I've been doing it for a couple of minutes. So I should be alright," added Eichel.

Brought in this offseason, head coach Bruce Cassidy has transformed Eichel into more of a two-way centerman and is looking to take his star center deep in the playoffs with the rest of the Golden Knights.

"I'm excited for Jack. It's something he's worked hard towards. I won't go through his whole history, but you get drafted to teams, and that's where you have to go, you don't have a choice. I'm sure there are other guys like Jack Hughes that were maybe wanting to get there (to the playoffs) sooner, and there are a lot of the guys like that, you can go through the years. But here he (Eichel) is… I think he's going to be probably one of our most excited guys, and rightfully so," said Cassidy.

The Golden Knights and Jets will play Game 1 of their Stanley Cup Playoff Series on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. from T-Mobile Arena. 

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