While Eichel may have been out-skated in Saturday’s NHL All-Star Skills Competition in Tampa Bay, his increased drive and determination to finish strong may just be a hint of what is to come and a testimony to his character as an All-Star.
Eichel enters today’s All-Star game as a point-per-game player (49 points in 49 games) with an impressive arsenal of momentum, totaling five goals and eight assists over the past seven games.
That positivity and determination is exactly what keeps fans reaching for a win, and perhaps what will help define, what appears to be, the apex of his career thus far.
“It’s an event and a weekend I’ve always paid close attention to. Being able to do it for the first time is special. I’m fortunate for all the guys in the room here, the coaches and everybody that also helped me get there. I wouldn’t have this opportunity if it wasn’t for the guys I’ve played with this year and guys pushing me in practice.” – Eichel
Wavering at the start of the fastest skater competition, yet finishing strong with a time of 13.828 seconds, Eichel placed third behind the Tampa Bay Lightning‘s Brayden Point, and Edmonton’s Connor McDavid.
Already assessing what he could have done better following the competition, fans can clearly see the making of a true star player.
“I tried to jump the gun. I wanted a good jump and I ended up kind of double taking. Your path is a big thing. I didn’t really do any homework on it. You’d probably like to take the turns a little bit wider to keep your speed and I think I tried to cut it a little too tight, maybe. It worked against me. But it was fun. It was good.” – Eichel
Eichel sets out to continue to make a name for himself among the elites today in the All-Star game today at 4:30 p.m.
Chances are high that the 3-on-3 matchups will reveal a finely-tuned Eichel, one we so often see following less than ideal performances during regular season games.
Names like Ovechkin, Crosby, Staal, and others, reverberate on the tongues of hockey fans everywhere, no doubt adding motivation to the already growing momentum Eichel puts forth.
Time will tell if the increased momentum will be enough to show off the skills he has learned so far being an All-Star, and lead to a win.
However, if there is one thing hockey fans have learned about Jack, it’s that he strives to use every opportunity to live up to the hope and expectations his fans and club place in him.