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Eichel makes Training Camp debut following upper body injury

Jack Eichel
Posted at 1:50 PM, Jan 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-06 13:50:20-05

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — After missing the first few days of Training Camp, Jack Eichel is back on the ice and back with his team.

"It's been a while since I've been on the ice with that many guys," Eichel said after practice. "I felt like I was a couple steps behind but hopefully it starts coming back and I'll start feeling like myself again."

Eichel suffered an upper body injury during an on-ice training period and was considered day-to-day. He missed the first three practices and first team scrimmage.

"Jack is clearly our leader on the ice so to have him back, was excellent," coach Ralph Krueger said after practice. "He'll find his way back quickly."

Eichel spent his first practice skating on a line with Victor Olofsson, who also returned to practice following an injury, and the newly acquired Taylor Hall. After skating alongside Olofsson and Sam Reinhart last year, Eichel's looking forward to welcoming a new linemate.

"It's good to be out there and good to be working in a line, getting back to somewhat normal hockey," he said. "You just try and build a relationship with him [Hall] and learn his tendencies. Just trying to build chemistry as quick as possible. We know we're going to have to play in a week so just trying to communicate as much as we can."

In 68 games played during the 2019-20 season, Eichel finished with 36 goals and 42 assists [78 points]. With a shortened season and just two weeks to get ready for competition, Eichel knows everything won't be perfect and that's okay.

"I think guys have to be realistic here. It's not going to be as clean as everyone probably expects but that's just how it's going to go and every team's in the same situation," he said. "It's important to get our systems down, we get used to being on the ice with each other, and we're ready to compete more than anything."

Linus Ullmark also took the ice for the first time during Training Camp after an immigration issue.