Sometimes, it seems like just yesterday that the Buffalo Sabres were drafting Jack Eichel. Now, a few years later, Eichel is proving himself as a star NHLer and leader, captaining the Sabres and a critical part of their recent success.
On November 19, in a win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, Eichel notched the 200th point of his NHL career. It took him 230 games to reach that milestone - one of the best in Sabres history.
Among players who reached the 200-point marker faster with Buffalo: Richard Martin (189 games), Gilbert Perreault (194 games), Alexander Mogilny (199 games) and current head coach Phil Housley (212 games).
Here’s a closer look at the first 200 points of Eichel’s NHL career, all with the Buffalo Sabres.
Of those 200 points, a whopping 123 were assists. The other 77 were goals.
Eichel’s first NHL point, of course, came in his first NHL game, back on October 8, 2015. He scored the lone goal in that 3-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators.
Jack Eichel, first NHL game, first NHL goal pic.twitter.com/9dEuSHFi1X— Hockey Central (@HockeyCentraI) October 9, 2015
The first assist of his NHL career came 13 games later against the Vancouver Canucks. That night, Eichel registered a pair of helpers and his first multi-point NHL game.
The first point streak of his career would come at the same time, a three-game streak from November 5-10, 2015. He registered five points (2-3).
On December 26, 2015, Eichel gave Sabres fans a holiday present in a four-point performance against the Boston Bruins. He scored twice and added a pair of assists.
Four would be his record for points in a single game - until an incredible five-assist performance on March 31, 2018 in a win against the Nashville Predators, when he tied a franchise single-game record. (On a college hockey note, Eichel had also recorded five assists in his first-ever college game, an exhibition matchup between BU and St. Thomas.)
The longest point streak of Eichel’s career to date: an 11-game stretch from February 14 - March 7, 2017. In that stretch, Eichel put up 16 points, including 11 assists and two power-play goals.
He’s recorded one hat trick so far in his career.
So far, it’s proven that when Eichel is doing good, the Sabres are doing good.
In his rookie season, Eichel scored goals in 20 games. The Sabres won 13 of those games. When he registered at least a point (42 games), Buffalo won 24 of those games.
His sophomore season saw similar results. Eichel scored a goal or more in 18 games; Buffalo won 11 of those games. He registered points in 36 games, 22 of which the Sabres won.
Last season, Eichel scored in 19 games, with the Sabres winning 10 of those. He registered a point or more in 38 games, 15 of which the Sabres won.
Of course, take all that with the consideration that the Sabres have been “rebuilding” over the years, and that’s how we got here.
This season so far, Eichel is proving to be a much better passer and playmaker. He’s scored goals in just four games this season - three of which Buffalo won - but had points in 15 of the team’s first 23 games. The Sabres won 12 of those 15 games, and went 3-5 when he didn’t register a point.
Most of Eichel’s first 200 career NHL points have come at even-strength, including 55 goals and a whopping 73 assists. But he’s also produced quite well on the man-advantage, with 48 assists and 22 power-play goals. His career has also seen him put up two shorthanded assists.
One milestone Eichel has yet to reach in his NHL career? Notching a shorthanded goal. Let’s call that something to strive for, though that is the situation in which he’s utilized the least. Eichel played 53:11 on the penalty kill last season.
It’s only been a few games since he hit the 200-point marker, but Eichel is already on his way up and proving himself to be quite the producer at the NHL level, particularly when it comes to assists.
Here’s to the next 200 points and beyond, Jack.