The trade that the hockey world has been waiting for for what seems like a year now has finally happened, as Jack Eichel was traded to the Vegas Golden Knights in the wee hours of Thursday morning. While there had been rumours – very recent rumours – of Eichel going to Calgary, the Golden Knights eventually won out with their trade package.
The package going back to Buffalo for Eichel is as follows:
Let's not waste time breaking this down.
So, the Golden Knights get the elite centre they've been after for five years now. It seems like they had been kind of dragging their feet on the trade front, but the recent injury to William Karlsson, combined with the team's bad start to the year, likely lit a fire under them.
The question is what Eichel the Golden Knights are getting, and the usefulness. He still needs his disc replacement surgery in his neck, and the team is in last place in the division with a slew of injuries. There is no guarantee that the team is even in the postseason for Eichel to make an impact in the spring, and then we're looking at nearly two full years removed from the game and the aging Vegas core getting a year older if they aren't in the playoffs now.
Should Eichel return before the season is over and the team is in a playoff position, we are looking at a game-changing addition for Vegas. Remember that Eichel has driven Victor Olofsson to a 20-goal season (in 54 games), Jeff Skinner to a 40-goal season, and Sam Reinhart to multiple 20-goal seasons. He is used to taking good players and elevating them with a mix of his playmaking and vision. He makes Marchessault a perennial 30-