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Jack Eichel to make Golden Knights debut Wednesday vs. Avalanche

Jack Eichel debut

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - NOVEMBER 08: Newly acquired Vegas Golden Knights player Jack Eichel celebrates a kid’s goal as he participates in a youth clinic at a ball hockey rink at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada on November 8, 2021 in North Las Vegas, Nevada. The Golden Knights traded for Eichel and a conditional draft pick from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for Alex Tuch, Peyton Krebs and two conditional draft picks on November 4. Eichel is expected to be available four months after undergoing an artificial disc replacement surgery in his neck. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

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Jack Eichel will be in the lineup and make his debut for the Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday night when they play host to the Colorado Avalanche, the team announced on Monday.

It will be Eichel’s first NHL game since March 2021 when he was still a member of the Buffalo Sabres.

Since then Eichel went through a lengthy standoff with the Sabres over how to handle his neck surgery, months of trade rumors and speculation, and then the eventual trade that sent him to Vegas for a package of players that included Peyton Krebs and Alex Tuch.

There is obvious excitement and anticipation here not only to see how Eichel plays following his surgery (the surgery he wanted to have all along), but because of what it can mean for the Golden Knights. The one position they have lacked during their first years in the league has been an elite, big-time player at center. Eichel, in theory, is that player if he is fully healthy and plays the way he did during his peak years in Buffalo.

[NHL Power Rankings: Avalanche in tier all by themselves]

Add in the fact his debut is against the best team in hockey and is a matchup of two of the top Western Conference Stanley Cup favorites and it only adds to the excitement.

To make room for Eichel under the salary cap the Golden Knights also announced that forward Mark Stone has been placed on the long-term injured list due to a back injury.