It appears as though Jack Eichel’s return to the NHL may still be a little bit further away. On Wednesday, Vegas Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer told reporters that Eichel is “at least a month or two months” away from making his debut for the franchise.
“I don’t know what the timeframe will be,” DeBoer told reporters on Wednesday. “It’ll be at least a month or two months before he plays.”
Eichel underwent surgery to artificially replace a herniated disk in his neck on Nov. 12 and was expected to be close to returning. The 25-year old had the procedure done after he was traded to the Golden Knights in a blockbuster deal that sent Alex Tuch, Peyton Krebs, and two draft picks to the Buffalo Sabres.
Eichel began skating on Dec. 2 and participated in his first practice with his new teammates on Jan. 11.
Prior to his arrival in Vegas, Eichel scored 139 goals and dished out 216 assists in 375 career games during his six seasons in Buffalo. He hasn’t played since March 7, 2021 after originally suffering the neck injury.
Following the diagnosis of the injury, Eichel disagreed with the Sabres regarding the type of surgery that he wanted to get. In September, Eichel’s relationship with the Sabres continued to sour. He was stripped of his captaincy with the team and failed his physical in addition to being placed on long-term injured reserve before being traded in November.