The Vegas Golden Knights sent shockwaves through the NHL earlier this season when they acquired star center Jack Eichel in a trade with the Buffalo Sabres. The only problem was that Eichel still had to have surgery to repair a herniated disk in his neck and would be out of the lineup for several months.

On Wednesday, the wait ended as the Golden Knights finally had a chance to see their prized acquisition on the ice for the first time. Eichel had an average debut: he logged 17:32 of ice time, registered one shot, won 8-of-11 face-offs and received two minor penalties against the Colorado Avalanche. He took the opening face-off and centered the Golden Knights' top line alongside Max Pacioretty and Evgeni Dadonov. Unfortunately for the Golden Knights, the Avalanche were able to keep the Golden Knights at bay in a 2-0 win behind a 29-save effort from goaltender Darcy Kuemper.

But while it wasn't the result that Vegas was hoping for, Eichel's return signifies a very bright future for the team, including the remainder of the 2021-22 season.

"You don't want to take two penalties and be on the ice for [a goal], but there's some things to build on," Eichel said following the game. "They're a really good team, and you get matched up against a pretty good line for part of the game. First game in 11 months, good to get back doing what (you're doing). There's some stuff to build on, but it's a process I know it's going to get better. I didn't expect it to be perfect tonight."