Jack Eichel skates less than three weeks after having neck surgery, according to an Instagram post by Brandon Wong Hockey on Thursday.
Prior to the surgery, Eichel said he believed he could return to gambling in three months.
“The rehabilitation process, you probably train a week to 10 days after the operation,” Eichel told NHL Network on Nov. 5. “It’s not like you’re doing a workout with heavy weights or anything, but you are able to move me. I hope that at six weeks I can get back on the ice and start skating. And I hope that around 12 weeks, three months, I’ll be playing again.
If Thursday was Eichel’s first time on the ice, it happened 20 days after the operation. The Instagram post, which included a video of Eichel skating on an unidentified ice rink, said he was doing so in North Carolina.
Eichel was acquired in a trade with the Buffalo Sabers on Nov. 4 against forwards Peyton Krebs and Tissu Alex, a protected first-round draft pick in the 2022 NHL Draft and a second-round draft pick in the 2023 NHL Draft. The Golden Knights also received a third-round draft pick in the 2023 Draft.
Eichel had wanted to have surgery since the spring after suffering a herniated neck disc last season. But the Sabers said they preferred a merger procedure. After the exchange, the Golden Knights said Eichel would undergo the surgery he chose.
The 25-year-old hasn’t played since March 7. He scored 18 points (two goals, 16 assists) in 21 games last season and scored 355 points (139 goals, 216 assists) in 375 games in six seasons with Buffalo, who selected him second in the draft. the NHL in 2015.