Former Boston Junior Bruin Eichel Lifts Stanley Cup In First Playoff Experience

By Joshua Boyd /

Former Boston Junior Bruins player Jack Eichel has won the Stanley Cup for the first time in his eight-year career. The Golden Knights defeated the Florida Panthers 4-1 in the series and 9-3 in Game 5 to win the Stanley Cup at home on June 13.

In his second season with the Vegas Golden Knights, he helped the Knights make the Stanley Cup Finals for the second time in their six years of existence. After putting up 25 points in 34 games in an injury-riddled first year in Vegas in 2021-22, he scored 66 points in 67 games this season. In the playoffs, he took that to another level with 26 points in 22 games.

Eichel originally played with the Boston Junior Bruins in the former Empire Junior Hockey League, a predecessor of what today would be the USPHL Elite Conference. In his second season, 2011-12, he put up 86 points in 36 games as Captain of his junior team – as a 15-year-old! Eichel also saw three games with the Junior Bruins’ former Eastern Junior Hockey League team, the forerunner of today’s NCDC.

The USPHL was founded in 2012 and had its first season in 2013-14.

Being raised in North Chelmsford, Mass., it was about a half-hour drive to Marlboro, Mass., where Eichel played in the New England Sports Center as a youth player for the Junior Bruins as well.

Check out The Athletic’s in-depth feature article on Eichel’s time with the Junior Bruins (published in 2020).  

It wasn’t long after his big 2011-12 season with the Junior Bruins’ Empire team that the larger hockey world opened up to him. He joined the U.S. National Team’s Under-17 squad, turning just 16 in his season with that squad. He also played in 22 U.S. NTDP Under-18 games that year. The next year, he was a full-time U.S. Under-18 player and had Boston University in his sights.

Eichel turned 18 nearly a month into his freshman year with Boston University, and defied all odds by winning the Hobey Baker Award as a Freshman, putting up 71 points in 40 games.

It’s a little bit staggering to think that being this good, Eichel was picked at No. 2 in the NHL Entry Draft of 2015, by Buffalo. But you have to admit that Connor McDavid at No. 1 overall has worked out really well for Edmonton. That said, Eichel leads McDavid in Stanley Cups now by a 1-0 score.

Eichel did just about all he could do for Buffalo, scoring 355 points in 375 regular season games between 2015 and 2021, but the Sabres just could never quite make the playoff mark.

On Nov. 4, 2021, while nursing an injury, Eichel was traded to Buffalo, along with a conditional pick, in exchange for Alex Tuch (a former Syracuse Jr. Star who played against Eichel in the Empire Junior League – the Stars are today’s Utica Jr. Comets of the USPHL).

The Golden Knights have acquired Jack Eichel and a conditional third round pick in 2023 from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for Alex Tuch, Peyton Krebs, and two conditional picks. One was a 2022 first-round pick (Noah Östlund) and the other will be a 2023 second-round pick.

The United States Premier Hockey League congratulates Jack Eichel on winning the 2023 Stanley Cup!