Vegas Shouldn’t Second Guess The Jack Eichel Trade, He’s Amazing
Alex Tuch is tearing it up with the Sabres. In 42 games, Tuch has 33 points on a bad Sabres team that will miss the playoffs for the 11th straight season. Tuch has been great for Buffalo. So has young prospect Peyton Krebs who’s finally starting to find his footing. At the end of the day, none of that matters. If Vegas had to do it all over again, they still make the Jack Eichel trade every day of the week.
Vegas finds themselves in a position they haven’t been yet. In their 5th season of existence, the Golden Knights have never missed the playoffs. Things looked really bleak about two weeks ago but Vegas is slowly climbing their way up the standings. The truth of the matter is, Vegas is probably done if not for the heroics of Eichel this season.
Frankly, it’s a miracle Eichel looks as good as he does. This is the same guy that missed a substantial amount of time because of a neck procedure that’s never been done on an NHL player before. The fact that Eichel is producing at the level he is speaks to his talent level.
Eichel, 25, is a superstar in every sense of the word. The underlying numbers back it up. So does the eye test. Simply put, this guy does shit every single night that nobody else is capable of. Tuch is playing well in Buffalo but you give up four of him if it means you get your hands on a first line center like Eichel.
Eichel truly is a two way monster. He’s doing it at both ends of the ice. He’s blocking shots, creating turnovers, and straight up trucking dudes. Goaltending was a huge issue at the start of the season. Oddly enough, Eichel’s return along with Alec Martinez and Brayden McNabb, Vegas is back to looking like their old selves.
Eichel is the complete package. The former Sabre captain has six goals in his last seven games. While the point total isn’t where you want it, it should be understood that Eichel is carrying a dog shit line to success. Most recently, Eichel was skating with Nic Roy and Evgenii Dadonov. Not a recipe for success but Eichel is carrying his line mates anyway.
The Dadonov story is more interesting. While Daddy is becoming a folklore legend in Vegas after vetoing a trade to Anaheim, Eichel deserves a lot of the credit here. Dadonov scored two goals during the entire month of March. Once paired with Eichel, Dadonov now has 12 points in April. Not a coincidence.
Eichel’s shooting percentage isn’t off the charts yet but he’s finishing at a great rate. He’s so good at skating and taking advantage of the open holes in the net.
Again, I just think it needs to be noted that Eichel looks this dominant with no Mark Stone, a disappearing act of Max Pacioretty, and being months removed from a serious neck procedure. He’s not close to hitting his ceiling. One can only imagine what’s going to happen to his point total once Stone returns to action on a full time basis.
The Knights may not be where they want to be in the standings yet. It may be frustrating to see Tuch playing at a high level. You still make this trade if you’re the Knights every day of the week. Eichel is a star and is carrying a depleted Knights team. Wait until this team is fully healthy again. Eichel remains a piece that Vegas was missing in the past. A first line center capable of bringing a Cup home to the desert.