Jack Eichel played the first six seasons of his career with the Buffalo Sabres, failing to qualify for the postseason in any of them — but in his first Stanley Cup Playoffs run with the Vegas Golden Knights, his team has made it all the way to the final.
The young superstar got real about how much it means to him to be playing for a Stanley Cup in his first postseason appearance.
“It's an opportunity you want,” Eichel said after the Golden Knights crushed the Dallas Stars 6-0 in Game 6 of the Western Conference Final, per NHL.com's Nicholas J. Cotsonika. “Everybody wants a chance to play in the Stanley Cup Final and a chance to compete for the ultimate goal.”
Although the 26-year-old didn't score a goal in the WCF, he leads the Golden Knights with 18 points in 17 playoff games, and will be a crucial piece for Vegas in the Finals against the Florida Panthers.
“Jack doesn't have to score for us to win,” Knights coach Bruce Cassidy said. “We need him to play well and help us win. There are different ways we account for that other than on the scoresheet.”
Eichel also led Vegas with 66 points in 67 games in the regular season, and has been the superstar the team desperately needs as they look to finally reach the pinnacle of hockey after entering the league in 2017.
“I'm excited. It's a great opportunity for our group. We've done a lot to get here and put ourselves in this position,” Eichel explained after the Game 6 win on Monday.
“It's not easy by any means. You need things to go your way, and you need to play good hockey at the right time. I think we're playing some pretty good hockey right now…Just really proud to be part of the group with so many great guys in this locker room. It's a great organization. So, credit to everyone, top down.”
Jack Eichel is not taking his first postseason trip for granted, and both he and his team are four wins away from bringing a Stanley Cup to Las Vegas.