Despite the fact that the recently-acquired Vegas Golden Knights forward Jack Eichel has yet to play this season, there is still a chance he is able to suit up for Team USA at the 2022 Winter Olympics set to take place in Beijing.
Eichel, 25, was finally able to have his neck surgery nearly a month ago. Prior to the operation, he said he believed he would be fully recovered and good to go, while his doctor said it could be anywhere from three to five months. If he does indeed end up being ready to go, it would line up almost perfectly with the start of the Olympics, something TSN’s Chris Johnston discussed on Tuesday.
“There’s at least a possibility there,” Johnston said on Insider Trading. “The fact that it’s gone quiet is not a reflection of how things are going. In fact, Jack Eichel is right on schedule in terms of his recovery, which leaves the sliver of a possibility that he could be available to Team USA at the Beijing Olympics.”
“At this point, I get the sense that no one wants to put pressure on this recovery. It was obviously a significant injury. He’s had the surgery, the trade’s gone through to Vegas and everyone just wants the process to play out.
“I don’t even think, necessarily that Team USA is banking on him, but it’s notable that with a little over a month before that team is chosen, it hasn’t been ruled out as a possibility for Jack Eichel.”
If Eichel were able to participate in the Olympics, we likely wouldn’t know until some point in January. However, given the uncertainty of the pandemic, it remains anyone’s guess as to whether or not NHL players will even be attending the event. While it seemed like a definite in the summer, plenty of doubt has been cast as to whether or not they will go as of late.
Nonetheless, the fact that Eichel being ready for the Olympics is even a slight possibility is huge news for Golden Knights fans, as it indicates his recovery is going as planned, if not better. By the time he is healthy and able to return to game action, the Golden Knights will have arguably the best team on paper in the entire NHL.
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