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Golden Knights leading scorer Jack Eichel placed on IR

NHL: Philadelphia Flyers at Vegas Golden Knights

Dec 9, 2022; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Vegas Golden Knights center Jack Eichel (9) prepares for a faceoff against the Philadelphia Flyers during the second period at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

LAS VEGAS -- Vegas Golden Knights leading scorer Jack Eichel was placed on injured reserve because of a lower-body injury, the club confirmed.

The designation means Eichel must miss at least seven days dating back to when he couldn’t physically play.

Defenseman Zach Whitecould left with a lower-body injury, and was placed on long-term IR, the team confirmed. That designation means Whitecloud will miss at least 10 games and 24 days.

The Knights announced on Twitter they recalled Jonas Rondbjerg, Brayden Pachal and Kaedan Korczak from their American Hockey League affiliate in Henderson, Nev.

Eichel has missed three of the past four games. He played in a 2-1 overtime victory over the Philadelphia Flyers but was out of the lineup in a 3-1 loss to the Boston Bruins.

Eichel leads the Knights with 13 goals and 29 points, and his 16 assists are third.

His injury is the latest blow to the Knights, who lead the Pacific Division with 41 points.

Defensemen Shea Theodore (lower body) and Alex Pietrangelo (family illness) also have been out.

The Knights, who next play at Winnipeg, are expected to announce more roster moves.

Vegas acquired Eichel in November 2021 in a high-profile trade with the Buffalo Sabres. He was drafted second overall by the Sabres in 2015 but got into a dispute with the team over what kind of surgery he should undergo for a herniated disk, which ultimately led to his departure.

Vegas agreed to let Eichel have artificial disk replacement, which no NHL player had undergone to that point. After recovering from the procedure, Eichel made his debut in February for the Knights.