Tonight was supposed to be the night of the first NHL regular season meeting between Jack Eichel and Connor McDavid, but with McDavid being injured we will not get to see that matchup between the top two picks of the 2015 NHL Draft. Early returns show that Eichel is a solid all around rookie, understanding defense and flashing his speed and shot. McDavid was starting to show his dynamic offense before he got injured. Unfortunately for him, I believe this is the third straight year he has gotten a lengthy injury. There is a lot of development to come for both, so predications are little more than a guess at this stage. Right now it may look a bit like a Crosby and Toews scenario, with McDavid playing the role of offensive wiz kid and Eichel the more solid all around presence. Eichel shows quite a bit of skill, likely more than Toews, but seems sturdier than McDavid much the way Toews does to Crosby. The aspect of Eichel’s game that I have been happiest with is that he is more aggressive in the shooting department than I expected. I had the fear he might take the Joe Thornton route and pass constantly if he found that the easiest thing to do. Overall Jack is a very safe bet to be a valuable member of the team for years to come because he has a great combination of talents and skills. He has the size to play a heavy game, but the speed to break away, and the skill to dangle. So no matter how the NHL regulates play in the years to come, he should be able to excel. I am always of the hope that play will be pushed in the way of speed and skill rather than interference, but I like Ike to adapt in any case.
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