Jack Eichel sat on the visitors’ bench at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh and watched Sidney Crosby take his first shift. Eichel has been a Crosby fan since he was eight years old, but this was different. Never had he watched from the bench, never from the other side of the ice.

Crosby put a shot on net, Pascal Dupuis jumped on the rebound, and it was 1–0 Pittsburgh. Less than a minute had expired. Crosby had two points before the period was half over. ‘I was just like…’ Eichel says, trailing off, laughing. 'He was buzzing around. It was pretty surreal.’