Eichel played last 6 weeks of season with broken thumb

Posted: 11/05/2022 in NHL
Tags: , , , , ,

Jack Eichel‘s solid production with the Vegas Golden Knights in 2021-22 is suddenly a lot more impressive.

Golden Knights president of hockey operations George McPhee revealed Tuesday that the center played through an injury down the stretch while continuing to fit in seamlessly with his new club.

“What most people probably wouldn’t know is that he … broke his thumb in a bad way about three or four weeks into his return,” McPhee said on “The Bob McCown Podcast.” “It was non-displaced so he didn’t have to have surgery, but it was a bad fracture and the guy didn’t miss a game.

“We had to numb him up, and it wasn’t easy because when that wore off, he was in a lot of pain. But he toughed it out for six weeks with that.”

McPhee added that the Golden Knights didn’t have much hesitation about performing the artificial disc replacement surgery Eichel wanted, which the Buffalo Sabres were unwilling to approve before trading him to Vegas.

“We did as much research as you could do, and boy, there weren’t many second thoughts,” McPhee said. “It just seemed to be a great advancement in modern medicine and as procedures go, it sounded like it was pretty simple, but it’s more elaborate than people would know.”

Eichel debuted with Vegas on Feb. 16. The Golden Knights ultimately missed the playoffs, but that wasn’t their prized acquisition’s fault. He racked up 14 goals and 11 assists over 34 games with the team down the stretch, including nine goals and seven assists across his final 21 contests beginning March 15.

The 25-year-old also drove possession with the Pacific Division squad. He posted favorable expected goals for (50.58) and scoring chances for (50.94) percentages at five-on-five, according to Natural Stat Trick.

Eichel is under contract through 2025-26 at a $10-million cap hit, according to CapFriendly.

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