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Jack Eichel quietly on pace for best statistical season of his career

Dec 19, 2023; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Vegas Golden Knights center Jack Eichel (9) watches the play against the Carolina Hurricanes during the third period at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Jack Eichel’s career high for points in a season is 82 in 77 games played, and the feat he accomplished that as a 22-year-old with the Buffalo Sabres during the 2018-19 season could become his 2nd-best season as a professional if he can maintain his current pace with the Vegas Golden Knights. Eichel leads Vegas with 39 points, and is on pace to finish with 35 goals, 56 assists, and 91 points. This is the type of season that Eichel had in mind, and before the season he made a point to mention that staying healthy and producing were two big goals for him. He also mentioned getting better defensively, something he’s done thus far, but most people care about offense over defense hence today’s story.

Eichel hoisted the Stanley Cup last year, which just so happened to be year two for him in Vegas, and he tallied 66 points in 67 regular season contests before putting up a line of 6-20-26 in 22 playoff games. It was a very impressive total season for him, but you could just sense that there was another level he wanted to eventually reach. The No. 2 overall pick from the 2015 NHL draft is the Golden Knights’ top offensive player, but his career resume to date isn’t as strong as you might otherwise think.

Eichel has appeared in 511 games between the Sabres and Golden Knights and has scored 195 goals while adding 290 assists for 485 points. Besides his 82-point season, Eichel has seasons in which he finished with 78, 66, and 64 points. A part of these low totals are because of his health holding him back. He appeared in 68 games the year he posted 78 points, 67 games the year he posted 66 points, and 67 games the year he posted 64. This season Eichel has appeared in all of the Golden Knights’ games, and being healthy has put him in prime position to make a difference and contribute.

Ultimately points aren’t everything, and Eichel’s career to date proves that. He’s got a modest resume compared to some other players in his draft class, but when the games have mattered most he’s elevated his team and taken them to where they need to be. That said, it is good to see Eichel healthy and putting up numbers like this, and it is a little more impressive when you also consider the other players he has to share the puck with. Mark Stone has 35 points, William Karlsson has 30 points, Jonathan Marchessault has 26 points, and then there’s a little bit of a drop off. It certainly helps Eichel add to his assist total by having skilled players like this to put the puck in the net, but throughout the team’s history the offense has usually been by committee.

This was the case in year one for Vegas, as Karlsson (78 points), Marchessault (75 points) and David Perron (66 points) have the three best individual seasons by points in team history. Max Pacioretty, Marchessault (2021-22) and Eichel also had seasons of 66 points to tie Perron, and it certainly looks like Eichel will disrupt this list by the time the season is over. It is possible that Eichel will have a bit of a cool off period which makes him fall short of the 90-point threshold. Even if that were to happen, Eichel should have the ability to build up enough of a buffer to finish with 83 or more points if he remains healthy. In any case, Eichel has done a nice job following up a career defining year 2 with the Golden Knights, and will look to bring the Golden Knights back to the Stanley Cup Final again this season.

Stats via as of December 26, 2023