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When Will Jack Eichel Return? Center Takes Big Step Forward

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Jack Eichel, Vegas Golden Knights win Game 3 over Edmonton Oilers 5-1

On Tuesday, the Vegas Golden Knights got a pleasant surprise at practice at the Rogers Centre. Their superstar center, Jack Eichel, skated with the team for the first time since suffering a knee injury on Jan. 11.

Eichel wasn’t a full participant, and according to the team’s X account, he was in a red non-contact jersey. However, the Golden Knights are closer Eichel back, and skating is a significant step forward in the process.

For a team hobbled with injuries, Eichel’s return cannot arrive soon enough, with Eichel missing from the power play and top line.

But there’s one minor concern: Eichel’s return date. When’s he coming back?

“The trainers would have a better idea,” said Golden Knights coach Bruce Cassidy. “He needs to get through a full practice with us, too, which may be in Boston (Wednesday). We will see how we come out of tonight.”

The Golden Knights beat Toronto 6-2 on Tuesday.

The Vegas Golden Knights at well clear of the wild card spots, and their playoff future isn’t in much doubt, so there’s no need to rush the player. Here are five potential days that the prolific center can come back. A couple of intriguing dates with teams who have direct ties to Eichel await on the schedule.

Boston Bruins

The Golden Knights face the Boston Bruins on Thursday. It’s Eichel’s hometown, too.

Cassidy seemed to open the door of playing Thursday if Eichel is a full-go at practice the day before.

Buffalo Sabres

Saturday. This would be another interesting date to return, considering how intensely Sabres fans dislike Eichel. The story would write itself. It’s also plausible that the Vegas Golden Knights copied Shea Theodore’s return timeline when the defenseman was hurt. Don’t be surprised if the former Sabre isn’t wearing a no-contact jersey by this game.