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Everything in Retrospect: Revisiting The Eichel-Tuch Trade, One Year Later

On the anniversary of the Buffalo Sabres’ trade of Jack Eichel to the Vegas Golden Knights, I feel comfortable in saying: that trade has forever altered the course for the Sabres organization, and at the moment, it appears to have redirected the Sabres in a positive direction.

In case you need a reminder, the trade saw the Sabres acquire Peyton Krebs and Alex Tuch, a top-10 protected 2022 first-round pick (Noah Östlund) and a 2023 second-round pick in exchange for Eichel and a 2023 third-round pick.

Here’s what each of those players has done in the year since. (In Östlund’s case, the stats reflect what he’s done since being drafted. Stats are as of 11/3/2022.)

One Year Later

Player Team GP G A PTS Points/Game +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG
Jack Eichel VGK 45 19 18 37 0.822222222 12 10 4 0 3
Peyton Krebs BUF 56 7 17 24 0.428571429 -20 26 0 0 2
Peyton Krebs ROC (AHL) 18 4 11 15 0.833333333 -12 12 3 0 2
Alex Tuch BUF 60 19 29 48 0.8 1 16 3 1 3
Noah Ostlund Djurgardens IF 14 1 7 8 0.571428571 0 2

Hindsight is everything, and there’s still more to this trade that needs to develop. Neither Eichel nor Tuch has played a full season with their new team yet. Eichel is on the upswing after finally having the surgery he desired. Krebs bounced around between Rochester and Buffalo last season before seemingly finding a home in the NHL this year. And of course, there are still two draft picks in play for 2023.

You can’t possibly judge this trade one year later, not fully, but from what we’ve seen so far, it’s easy to see that it has been mutually beneficial to all involved. Tuch and Krebs are well-liked in the Sabres organization, and both are flourishing. Tuch truly seems to be living his best life, on and off the ice, getting to wear the goathead jersey and tearing things up offensively. Krebs is looking like a promising young prospect with great potential as he develops, and the Östlund pick looks like a smart one so far.

On the flip side, Eichel got what he wanted: a fresh start, a new fanbase, and the surgery. He’s doing fine for himself in Vegas. On a team level, the Sabres have earned at least a point in 44 of 83 games since the trade, with a record of 34-39-10. Since Tuch actually started playing for Buffalo – which didn’t happen until the end of December – the Sabres are 29-27-6.

Aside from the on-ice stuff, there’s also a lot to be said for what this trade did for the Sabres (and Eichel, on the other side of it) with regards to atmosphere and energy. The situation genuinely seemed to get toxic toward the end, and that’s just not good for anyone involved. A year later, things have settled a bit and everyone can pretty much move on with their lives, with a positive attitude and nothing (or far less) dragging them down. We can focus on the positives, on the growth of Tuch and Krebs, and what it’s done for the team in the year since.

When the trade initially happened, we polled our readers on how they felt Kevyn Adams did on the Jack Eichel trade. Obviously it was a quick reaction and trades like this realistically take time to evaluate, but here’s a reminder of how the results went back then. Of the 2,267 responses, 66 percent said it was good under the circumstances. Eighteen percent said Adams got the best available trade package.

Three percent said the trade does not improve the Sabres, while three percent also said Adams overplayed his hand and that it was an awful, awful trade.

With one year under our belts, let’s ask again and see how the results compare now:

How did Kevyn Adams do on the Jack Eichel trade?

A – Got the best available trade package 338
B – Good under the circumstances 203
C – Really needed to get a lot more 12
D – This does not improve the Sabres 2
F – Overplayed his hand, awful awful trade 3