July 19 2014 07:00AM
Jordan Eberle, by virtue of his work with Hockey Canada, was a famous player before he’d so much as skated a shift in Edmonton. He’s evolved into a pretty good offensive winger and a key piece of the Oilers’ rebuild. How many goals will he score next season?
For those interested in a brief explanation of this series, see the first post in it (on Taylor Hall).
Games & Usage
Eberle has missed 19 games to injury over the course of his NHL career, and only six over the last three seasons. Given his elusiveness and the style of game he plays, I’d be comfortable penciling him in for his three-year average of two games lost to injury.
As with Hall, Eberle playing for the Oilers last year makes it pretty easy to project his minutes, too. That includes significant time at even-strength (15.82 per game) and on the power play (3.03 per game) as well as some time on the penalty kill (41 seconds per game). The first two we can project forward without hesitation, and Eberle on the PK is a recurring experiment so we may as well chalk him up for about the same usage.
Eberle’s shot rates at even-strength and on the power play over the last four years (via ExtraSkater.com) are as follow:
As with Hall, we should note again the surprising drop-off in performance for Eberle last season at even-strength. Again, this is something I’d chalk up to poor work by the Oilers’ coaches, with the expectation that they manage to correct it in 2014-15.
At even-strength, we’ve projected Eberle to play a little more than 1,260 minutes next season. Using our estimated shots/hour rate, that works out to 176 shots. Eberle’s been a pretty good shooter over his NHL career, averaging 13.1 percent at even-strength, so some simple math gives us a projection of 23 goals at even-strength.
On the power play, we’ve projected Eberle to play just over 240 minutes next season. Using our estimated shots/hour rate, that works out to 46 shots. Eberle has shot at a 16.1 percent clip on 137 power play shots over his career; given that his power play shooting percentage is only slightly higher than his even-strength number I lean towards believing that it’s a reasonable estimate of his true talent. That equates to 7 goals on the power play, and as he’s scored three shorthanded goals over the two seasons he’s been used while down a man I’m also going to add 1 goal on the penalty kill.
- Anaheim: Andrew Cogliano (18)
- Colorado: Gabriel Landeskog (24)
- St. Louis: T.J. Oshie (20)
- San Jose: Tommy Wingels (16)
- Chicago: Patrick Sharp (33)
- Los Angeles: Justin Williams (17)
- Minnesota: Jason Pominville (28)
Dallas: Erik Cole (16)
Average: 22 goals.
Our eight comparables averaged 22 goals from their most-used wingers last season (keeping in mind that we’re ranking these players by ice-time per game, rather than total goal production). Eberle’s projected 31 goals put him well clear of the pack; the only player ahead of him on this list is Patrick Sharp.