Jordan Eberle: In Elite Company

Since 2000-01 and including this season, just 10 21-year old forwards have managed a point per game or better in the NHL.  Jordan Eberle is one of them.

The List

Player Season GP G A PTS +/- PIM S S% TOI G/GM A /GM PTS /GM
Sidney Crosby 2008-09 77 33 70 103 3 76 238 13.9 1690 0.43 0.91 1.34
Evgeni Malkin 2007-08 82 47 59 106 16 78 272 17.3 1748 0.57 0.72 1.29
Eric Staal 2005-06 82 45 55 100 -8 81 279 16.1 1611 0.55 0.67 1.22
Alex Ovechkin 2006-07 82 46 46 92 -19 52 392 11.7 1754 0.56 0.56 1.12
Steven Stamkos 2011-12 52 35 23 58 5 44 184 19 1112 0.67 0.44 1.12
Jordan Eberle 2011-12 50 24 30 54 4 8 117 20.5 839 0.48 0.60 1.08
Nicklas Backstrom 2008-09 82 22 66 88 16 46 174 12.6 1635 0.27 0.80 1.07
Patrick Kane 2009-10 82 30 58 88 16 20 261 11.5 1574 0.37 0.71 1.07
John Tavares 2011-12 52 22 31 53 4 14 192 11.5 1054 0.42 0.60 1.02
Rick Nash 2005-06 54 31 23 54 5 51 170 18.2 986 0.57 0.43 1.00
Joe Thornton 2000-01 72 37 34 71 -4 107 181 20.4 1566 0.51 0.47 0.99
Paul Stastny 2006-07 82 28 50 78 4 42 185 15.1 1490 0.34 0.61 0.95
Alex Tanguay 2000-01 82 27 50 77 35 37 135 20 1464 0.33 0.61 0.94
Patrice Bergeron 2006-07 77 22 48 70 -28 26 224 9.8 1603 0.29 0.62 0.91
Bobby Ryan 2008-09 64 31 26 57 13 33 174 17.8 988 0.48 0.41 0.89
Jonathan Toews 2009-10 76 25 43 68 22 47 202 12.4 1520 0.33 0.57 0.89
Martin Havlat 2002-03 67 24 35 59 20 30 179 13.4 1102 0.36 0.52 0.88
Phil Kessel 2008-09 70 36 24 60 23 16 232 15.5 1159 0.51 0.34 0.86
Simon Gagne 2001-02 79 33 33 66 31 32 199 16.6 1434 0.42 0.42 0.84
Scott Gomez 2000-01 76 14 49 63 -1 46 155 9 1198 0.18 0.64 0.83
Dany Heatley 2001-02 82 26 41 67 -19 56 202 12.9 1631 0.32 0.50 0.82
Jamie Benn 2010-11 69 22 34 56 -5 52 177 12.4 1243 0.32 0.49 0.81
Anze Kopitar 2008-09 82 27 39 66 -17 32 234 11.5 1677 0.33 0.48 0.80

That’s pretty good company to be keeping.

There are a few points worth noting:

1. Icetime. Eberle’s ice-time has been getting a lot of attention the last while, and it’s easy to understand why.  It’s worth keeping in mind that Eberle’s TOI is only for a partial season, while most of the players listed here are full-season players, but even so his totals are pretty low in comparison to the rest of these guys.

2. Shooting percentage/shot totals. Very few players on this list have a shooting percentage as high as Eberle; Joe Thornton (20.4%) and Alex Tanguay (20.0%) are the only other guys at 20% or higher.  Thornton set his career high in goals that year – he’d go on to win the Hart Trophy, but he has never scored 37 goals in a season again.  Meanwhile, Alex Tanguay’s 27-goal total remains the second-best number in his career, despite the fact that he’s one of if not the highest efficiency shooter in the NHL.  That brings us to shot totals: outside of the pass-first guys, Eberle’s one of the lowest volume shooters on this list. 

3. As things stand, that’s kind of a great place to be.

Of course, there are some worries too.  I pointed out earlier today that Eberle’s on-ice shooting percentage (note: on-ice, meaning it includes not just him but also his linemates as well) was insanely high, and Tyler Dellow went into some further detail on some of the other things that are going Eberle’s way right now.

What would be really nice right now would be if Tom Renney changed strategy with Eberle.  Rather than limiting his ice-time and using him in specific situations, why not throw him out into the deep end? 

It’s a strategy that would seem to help in a lot of ways.  From a development angle, playing Eberle against top opposition will help ease him into a role that the Oilers want him playing eventually anyway.  Giving him more minutes isn’t going to hurt that development any either.  It will appease fans who want to see him play more.  Perhaps most importantly, it will give the Oilers a better idea of whether or not he can keep things up.

(List above courtesy of hockey-reference.com)

  • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

    Oh yeah, Eberle has also done this despite no goals in his first 7 games and only 3 in his first 16.

    It wasn’t until i believe a sacrifice was made to Jobu. (you know KFC or something)

    Since then any how he has 21g in his last 34 games.

    You say he may be peaking.

    I say he has arrived!

  • Dipstick

    For some time almost every comment thread here at ON would eventually become a Gagner pro/con argument. Now that he has exorcised the ON demons, can we move on to some other player that needs the boost? PRV? Horcoff? Dare I suggest Barker?

  • oilredemption

    Sorry jw I lost some respect here…why in the world would you take the wind out of the sails of oil country (when we have little to build on)… Shame on you! Yes maybe eberle might not be the player that we dream of or maybe he will be but let the future tell not some statisical averages. Once he slows down in a year or two bring it up or say after they sign his contract not now! Shame on you! Eberle is a Canadian hero and he’s riding a huge wave and you would do this

  • oilredemption

    I do want to add you are a good journalist and writer. Also that you are paid to write this and follow stories but timing is everything and I am sorry jw this is bad timing for the fans who are destin for another high pick.

  • How about we compare him to one of Tanguay’s other teammates. One who played his first few years on a young rebuilding team at the time. Very similar to where the oilers are now.

    Yes i’m talking about Jerome Iginla…

    His rookie year: 96/97 82gp 21g 29a 50p

    Quite comparable to 14’s rookie year.

    97/98 70gp 13g 19a 32p

    Ok so maybe sophmore jynx on that one.

    98/99 82gp 28g 23a 51p

    Now we all know Ebs #’s so far, so i guess with your logic one can clearly see that Jordan is well on his way to a far better career than Iggy had.

    I mean the stats say so right?

  • Eberle – is pretty amazing watching on TV. Moreso live.
    To bring up a nickname from the past, he’s a magic man.
    Stick handling with or without speed – magic.
    His shooting on net – incredible.
    Anticipatation – superior.

    He is and will continue to be an elite player.
    This I get without considering stats.

    It’s good to know the stats back this up. If they tail off, all the above is still true.

    Throw this in with Hall’s speed and desire and how the defense reacts to him . . . Gagner may very well get another 8 point night.

  • It’s a learning curve for all elite players. Putting up numbers and from there, learning how to put up numbers against the Lidstroms and Charas of the world. We need Eberle to be able to perform against elite Dmen to be able to win the Cup. The Sedins got shut down by elite defencemen last year. Throw in the unpredictable goaltending they got, the fact the got to Game 7 of the Cup final last year was a bit of a miracle. But it didn’t surprise anybody that they lost in the end.

    I haven’t watched closely enough to identify if this is the case, but I strongly suspect this may be why the home and road record are so different. Obviously, it’s easier to shelter the kids a bit at home vs. the road.

  • The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33

    I see him having a Brad Richards type career. At least I hope he does.

    Eberle’s so smooth out there he looks like a video game.