Almost a year after playing his last game in the National Hockey League (NHL), Jack Eichel will play his first game in a Vegas Golden Knights uniform on Wednesday.
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The Colorado Avalanche, who sit atop the Western Conference, will visit T-Mobile Arena for the occasion.
The Vegas organization confirmed the news on Monday, adding that it had placed captain Mark Stone’s name on the long-term injured list. This allows the Golden Knights enough room under the salary cap to include Eichel in their roster.
Plagued by back and lower-body injuries, Stone has been limited to 28 games this season, in which he has amassed 28 points.
Eichel underwent surgery to replace a vertebra in his neck last November after the Golden Knights acquired him from the Buffalo Sabers.
“I’m at a point where I’m ready to play,” Eichel said at a press conference. You can practice as much as you want, but it’s different from playing a game. I just want to be back in action and get my confidence back playing in a game.”
The second overall pick in the 2015 draft returned to his skates in early December and resumed practice with his teammates on January 11. Last week, he got the go-ahead from doctors to train with contact.
Eichel has 139 goals and 216 assists for 355 points in 375 games on the Bettman circuit, but has yet to earn a chance to play a single playoff game.