Bleacher Report Suggests Golden Knights’ Eichel is Overhyped

Source: Jeffrey T. Barnes/Associated Press

In a recent article published by Bleacher Report, Lyle Richardson outlined eight players who are being overhyped to enter the 2022-23 season, one of which was Vegas Golden Knights forward Jack Eichel.

In defense of the article, the author makes some fair points in assessing why he believes these players will fail to live up to expectations, and on several of the eight players listed, I found myself agreeing. That said, the Bleacher Report article is completely wrong on Eichel, for a number of different reasons.

Eichel’s mediocre stat line of 14 goals and 25 points in 34 outings was brought up, as those stats pale in comparison to what he had done in previous years with the Buffalo Sabres. What is important to note, however, is the fact that he was not only coming off of a neck procedure, but shortly after his return suffered a broken thumb. Despite the injury, he was able to finish out the 2021-22 campaign, though at far less than 100% health.

Now, with his first healthy offseason in some time, Eichel has had the opportunity to get himself into great game shape, while working on other areas in his game. He is also playing on a far better roster than he has ever had, and is beginning the season with Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith as his wingers. That alone will put him in a great position to succeed, but it is far from the only reason he should be counted on to have a massive year.

While his stock has seemingly fallen in the eyes of many, it is important to note that just a few short years ago, Eichel was discussed in the same conversation as players like Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews. The second overall pick of the 2017 draft was being viewed early on as a borderline generational talent, and his numbers on a struggling Sabres team backed that up. You can bet he is more driven than ever given some of the doubts being thrown his way, which, in this writer’s opinion, is setting him up to have the best season of his career.

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