How Will Jack Eichel Fit in With the Vegas Golden Knights?

Jack Eichel who's now a Vegas Golden Knight. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Jack Eichel who's now a Vegas Golden Knight. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The Vegas Golden Knights have acquired their top-line center of the future. Jack Eichel was traded from the Buffalo Sabres to the Golden Knights giving them yet another superstar. In exchange, they gave up Alex Tuch, Peyton Krebs, and a conditional 1st and 3rd round pick.

When Jack Eichel recovers from his neck surgery, he will be an immediate impact player for the Vegas Golden Knights. In his last season before the neck injury, Eichel recorded 78 points on 36 goals and 42 assists, in only 67 games played. Eichel was playing like a top-10 center in the NHL, and Vegas would be thrilled to add that kind of production to their team. When Eichel joins the team, how will he fit in?

The Vegas Golden Knights got themselves another superstar with this acquisition- but at what cost? The Knights don’t exactly have a spot for him given their current roster. So, where will he fit in?

Eichel will likely be slotted into the Vegas Golden Knights’ top line with Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone, but that decision won’t be as easy for Head Coach Peter DeBoer to make.

Chandler Stephenson has taken a major leap in production this season, recording 35 points in 37 games played. With Stephenson centering the top-line with Pacioretty and Stone, they have been one of the most effective top-lines in the NHL this season.

Vegas’ top line is outscoring their opponents 16-8 this season while scoring 6.38 goals per 60 minutes that they are on the ice, which is good for second in the NHL for lines that have played at least 50 minutes together. The unfortunate reality for the Vegas Golden Knights is that they’ll likely have to split up this dominant top line when Eichel arrives.

The Vegas Golden Knights were once known as a team with little to no center depth. With this addition they will have: Jack Eichel, Chandler Stephenson, William Karlsson, and Nolan Patrick down the middle. Furthermore, they also have elite wingers on both sides.

What this move also does is it allows Stephenson, who’s proven to be able to play in a first-line role, to flourish in a second, or maybe even third-line role. It will be interesting to see how well he plays away from Pacioretty and Stone, and whether or not he can keep up the pace he is currently playing at.

Eichel will also give a much-needed boost to the special teams. As of today, Vegas has the 17th ranked power play at 19%. In the 2019-2020 season, Eichel finished the season with 11 power-play goals, 16 assists, and 27 total power play points in 67 games played. The Golden Knights don’t lack offensive talent, but Eichel will help this power play become amongst one of the best power plays in the league.

light. Trending. Robin Lehner is Back for the Golden Knights

What I believe to be the biggest benefit from making this trade for the Golden Knights, is this trade gives the Knights three good centers, which is a rarity in the modern NHL. Between Eichel, Stephenson, and Karlsson, teams will be scratching their heads trying to match up with Vegas and that should lead to playoff success in the 2021-2022 season.

Next. Marc-Andre Fleury Returns to T-Mobile Stadium. dark