Jordan Eberle Comparables, Part II

Yesterday, the Oilers re-signed Jordan Eberle to a six-year, $36 million contract extension. If you were wondering what that shrieking noise around mid-afternoon yesterday was, now you know (and you also know that its epicenter was Wanye Manor).

Earlier this month, I looked at some comparables for Jordan Eberle. It’s a pretty good looking list. Today, I’m going to try something similar but with some modified criteria.

The problem with my first list – a list that included Jason Allison, Patrice Bergeron, Martin Havlat, Ales Hemsky, Marian Hossa, Vincent Lecavalier, Patrick Kane, Anze Kopitar, Rick Nash, Brad Richards, Mike Richards, Sergei Samsonov, Alex Semin, Paul Stastny,Petr Sykora, Alex Tanguay, John Tavares, Joe Thornton and Jonathan Toews – was that it was based solely on points. The criteria on that list was to look at all forwards from 1997-98 on to have a season with a points/game total between 0.90 and 1.05 at the age of between 20 and 22 (Eberle, with a 0.97 points/game season at age 21, fell midway between those points).

Doing it that way doesn’t take into account Eberle’s unreal shooting percentage. At 19.8 percent, Eberle had a higher shot percentage than can reasonably be expected to continue (the league leader since the lockout, the phenomenally selective shooter Alex Tanguay, has an 18.0 percent conversion rate).

So, while the list of names above is nice and rosy, it’s not a list I particularly trust.

The Pessimist’s Method

Since shooting percentage is fickle from year to year – and history shows, barely short of certainty, that Eberle’s true accuracy level is lower than he managed this season – I decided to ignore goal totals and instead focus on two other things: assists/game and shots/game. Then I sorted every player since 1997-98 who came close to Eberle’s assist totals (within 10 over an 82-game season, basically) and shot totals (plus or minus 20% of Eberle’s shots per game this season) and came up with a list of 43 seasons between the age of 20 and 22. So, I narrowed it down some more. I removed all of the centers from the list, leaving only wingers, created an adjusted point column (basically assists plus shots multiplied by the group average shooting percentage) to negate shooting percentage differences and removed everybody who was no longer within 10 points of Eberle.

I haven’t compensated for individual points percentage (Eberle’s has been on the high side over his first two NHL seasons) and I also haven’t really allowed for Eberle’s high on-ice shooting percentage – at least not directly. Eberle’s 5-on-5 on-ice shooting percentage was driven in large part by his personal shooting percentage; 36.4% of 5-on-5 goals with him on the ice came off his stick (as per behindthenet.ca). By negating Eberle’s personal shooting percentage, we negate a good portion of his insanely high on-ice shooting percentage as well.

That’s a lot of explaining, but basically what we’re looking at here is a cynic’s list of comparable players. It’s the kind of list designed to handle the objections of a guy like me. Here’s the list:

It’s a pretty strong list, overall. Aside from Heatley those names lack star power to some degree, but when we look at their average 82 game performance over the next seven seasons (as long as Eberle’s under contract in other words) we get this:

The “S-1” column asks whether the player had a comparable season to Eberle the year before the big breakthrough; in a surprising number of cases the answer was yes. The players that didn’t – Horton and Friesen – are both below average on this list. The “Data” column indicates whether there were seven full seasons to grab information from after. Meanwhile, the “Drafted” column shows overall draft position in an attempt to add the context of these players’ pre-NHL career.

Looking at the data, I don’t really think Eberle’s going to crash and burn the way Friesen did, and I don’t really believe he’s going to set the NHL a-flame the way Heatley did, either. I think we’re probably looking at a pretty good player – at worst, a Milan Michalek fringe-first line type, and with the potential to be a Patrik Elias-style winger. Elias might sound like a disappointing comparison, but he is not: he had a 96-point season and was a top line power-vs.-power winger on a very good Devils team for years.

The group average is in Petr Sykora/Bobby Ryan country: a 30-35 guy during a healthy season. For those who believe Eberle’s a significantly above average NHL shooter (the group average here is 12.8 percent – an excellent number and not far from where I’d put Eberle), feel free to bump his goal totals a little higher.

I tend to be more cynical than the norm on Eberle. This list reflects my thinking on what constitutes a reasonable baseline – not necessarily the best-case scenario, but a reasonable baseline. Looking at it now, I’m not wild about the Oilers’ long-term offer to Eberle – I’d like a shorter term, or some patience getting him under contract – but I’m also not terribly worried it’s going to be an ugly overpay either.

Bottom line: if you’re a true believer that Eberle’s a franchise player and that his shooting percentage was for real, stick to that first list, the one that looked at him strictly by points. If, on the other hand, you’re more pessimistic on him (as I am), I think these comparables send the message that at worst – even with shooting percentage regression – he’s going to be a pretty good player for the next seven years.

  • By negating Eberle’s personal shooting percentage, we negate a good portion of his insanely high on-ice shooting percentage as well.

    Not really. The Oilers shot 10.8% at 5v5 on shots Eberle didn’t take last year, which is nuts.

    • Is that with Eberle on the ice?

      If hi IPP was around 85 then out are talking about a 2.8% bump on only 15% of points scored while he was on the ice. How many points is that?

      You can dock him big for IPP or you can dock big for ON% but I don’t see how you can dock him so heavily for both because they are related.

      I’m on board with the idea that he is going to regress, but you’re double dipping a bit when you come up with your numbers.

  • Is that with Eberle on the ice?

    Yes.

    If hi IPP was around 85 then out are talking about a 2.8% bump on only 15% of points scored while he was on the ice. How many points is that?

    You can dock him big for IPP or you can dock big for ON% but I don’t see how you can dock him so heavily for both because they are related.

    No they’re aren’t related. Every shot your team takes could go in (100% shooting percentage) and you could get zero points.

    • Yes and no.

      Say Player X has an on-ice shooting percentage 20% above his line’s true talent level and an IPP 10% above his true talent level.

      Without that high on-ice shooting percentage, he’d be scoring 110% of what we’d expect in a normal year. With that high on-ice shooting percentage, he’s now scoring 132%.

      The one inflates the other, no?

    • Yeah my mistake – I misunderstood something in my math. I shouldn’t comment between clients when I have no time to think about what I’m saying.

      Interestingly though if that 10.8 is corrected to 8 and his rate of assisting stays the same his IPP goes up.

  • I understand why advanced stats are important, but I think there are cases where the stats just don’t so a good job at projecting the amount of points a player is capable of getting. I think instead of saying Eberle lucked out with a high shooting percentage that he’s likely not able to keep up, why aren’t we saying Eberle’s shooting percentage this year is a good indicator of how Eberle takes smart shots that have a high percentage of finding twine?

    I have read article after article breaking down a ‘reasonable’ expectation for Eberle, using all manner of stats; however not one single article has been able to explain why his percentage was so high this year. The obvious answer would be Nuge and the passes he was supplying, but Eberle didn’t always play with the center.

    So maybe it was all powerplay. But of his 76 points, only 20 came on the pp 10 and 10 respectively. So maybe it was the soft competition, but I do remember reading somewhere that Ebs and Nuge were often up against top pairing defensemen this year.

    I guess my point is that stats used for expectations and point projections from year to year are pretty boring and unproductive. Every player is capable of having an off year, and likely it has more to do with the playstyle of the coach or other factors like injury and line mates as oppose to what can be extrapolated from stats. Is there any particular stat explaining why Ovechkin doesn’t score 60 goals every year? How Malkin has been able to play at such a consistently high level? Etc.

    I’m just happy we have what has appeared to be over the last two seasons an incredibly good player, in addition to all the other incredibly good players we’ve acquired recently.

  • If you include his shots, the Oilers shot 12.84%, 20th highest number. If you pull them, the Oilers shot 10.9%, which is the seventh highest number.

    If anything, the shooting of the rest of the guys when he was on the ice is just as out there as his was.

    • Their shooting over 8% accounts for 15 goals, so by the percentages he got a bump of 11-12 assists.

      What the typical shooting percentage of a skill line? If teams correct to 8% the number for top lines must be at least marginally higher no?

  • Will wrote

    I understand why advanced stats are important, but I think there are cases where the stats just don’t so a good job at projecting the amount of points a player is capable of getting. I think instead of saying Eberle lucked out with a high shooting percentage that he’s likely not able to keep up, why aren’t we saying Eberle’s shooting percentage this year is a good indicator of how Eberle takes smart shots that have a high percentage of finding twine?

    (emphasis added)

    It has to do with what other NHL players have done, as well as with Eberle’s own track record. We’ll use the latter first, since it’s the smaller point – in year one, Eberle was an 11.4% shooter, far worse than the 19.8% he recorded this year. Is his true talent tlevel the former, the latter, or somewhere in the middle?

    But here’s the big point: since the NHL lockout, no player has maintained an 18.9 shooting percentage (the list is here). Alex Tanguay – a far more selective shooter than Eberle – comes closest at 18%. Steven Stamkos, at 17%, is really the only other talent shooter in the upper echelon (guys like Brunette score the same way Smyth does, not the way Eberle does.)

    So, we have two options: either Eberle is the most talented pure shooter since the lockout (something that his rookie performance brings into question) or he had a good year. Which seems more likely?

    I have read article after article breaking down a ‘reasonable’ expectation for Eberle, using all manner of stats; however not one single article has been able to explain why his percentage was so high this year. The obvious answer would be Nuge and the passes he was supplying, but Eberle didn’t always play with the center.

    Let’s look at that same list above, except instead of looking at it as combined seasons – i.e. a player’s performance over the long haul, let’s look at individual seasons. That list is here.

    We see a much different view! Players in the 20% range! The thing is: a good shooter can fire like that for a short time period, but not year over year. That’s why we tend to credit it to chance – it’s not that the guy isn’t talented, but if he really could shoot 20% every year, he’d shoot 20% every year. The fact that he doesn’t shows that things just came together one season. That’s what I think happened with Eberle: he’s a good shooter who had an exceptional year.

    • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

      With regards to the second part of this, about Nuge’s passes. I tend to agree somewhat. Someone posted a list of Kurri’s Shooting % year over year at Lowetide’s blog, and it was in the high 20% range year over year. I think we can all reasonably agree that taking one-timers from Gretz contributed to that. Yes, you can say that offensive period of the game was different and that goaltending sucked, etc, but it’s all relative.

      I think he’ll regress but, I think it’ll settle somewhere between the 11% rookie mark and his range last year. There’s just too many factors to accurately say what contributes to shooting percentage. Player growth/development from rookie to 2nd year? Sure. Luck? Maybe. But that’s too simplistic. It’s impossible to watch highlights of Eberle and not see that he is a cerebral player, with great hands, that picks his spots. How many times have you ever seen him blindly fire a slapper at the net? Almost never. He’s not a “throw it at the net” player.

      The contract might be a tad rich, but after the Hall deal there was no way to pay him less (based on production) without alienating the player or sending the wrong message. I’m happy.

      • One point: shooting percentage actually typically declines year over year. I can’t seem to find the chart now, but there seems to be a small but steady erosion in shooting percentage on the whole from the time a player enters to the league to retirement – including through his mid-20’s.

    • As usual, a very measured and articulate response. Thanks for all the great work on here by the way as your articles generally spark interesting discussion about our team and our players.

      But again, I just don’t think this stat accounts for the way he plays. How about this. Can you approach this from a different perspective? Instead of using stats to find Eberle’s reasonable comparables, is there any way you could do research and use stats to explain why Eberle will continue to produce at this and maybe even higher levels?

      Perhaps you could compare the high quality areas Eberle shoots from to the less than favorable spots other elite players in his point category achieve.

      You mentioned Stamkos as someone else that has a high shooting percentage. I see Eberle’s season comparable to Stamkos for two reasons: They are both very good finishers, and they both play with really good playmakers. Stamkos has St. Louie and Eberle has Nuge.

      I of course do not believe Eberle is the most consistent finisher since the lockout, but he could be. I just can’t shake the feeling that ‘luck’ actually had very little to do with Eberle’s season. Especially after reading that article a few weeks back about the quality of defenders Eberle played against.

      So ya, gauntlet thrown down Willis. Instead of all the doom and gloom I’d like you to explain why Eberle is going to be the exception to the rule and how he managed to net one of the best shooting percentages since the lockout, and why you expect him to not only repeat his point total from this year, but exceed it. Boom!

        • billylikestodrinksoda

          @jonathanwillis @tyler

          Im not disagreeing with what you guys are stating. Its all there and is backed up with real numbers that make sense.

          What I dont understand is WHO asked you guys these questions on Jordan Eberle? Or was it just something you both personally wanted the answer to?

          Im all for sound reasoning and logic, but this all seems much ado about nothing. Both of you seem to convey the message that your 100% right already, which is impossible, unless you own a time machine or know a cool gypsy lady who can see the future (which would be pretty sick).

          There is presenting logical and reasonable THEORIES that you can look back on at the end of the season and say “See, i was right, and this, this, and this happened as i predicted”. But, you guys seem to be shoving it down the oiler fans throats as if it has already happened.

          I agree, Jordan Eberle will probably drop to ~65 points and have a lower shooting percentage then this past year. But seriously, 15 bloggers posting the same idea on numerous sites, all yelling, “IM THE RIGHTEST OF THE PEOPLE WHO ARE RIGHT ABOUT JORDAN EBERLE BECAUSE IM RIGHT AND MY NUMBERS SHOW IM RIGHT!!!”, just gets old.

          We’ll see what happens to his career during the next few years. You guys are probably correct. Or at least the numbers show you SHOULD be correct. But we honestly don’t know. And until we do know, I think I speak for the majority of the Oilersnation community when I say, Stop saying “I told you so” when Jordan Eberle hasn’t even played this apparent “I told you so” type season.

        • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

          I think the entire scientific community would disagree with you as the very nature of a science experiment involve trying to prove a position or hypothesis through raw data. Since your article is entitled ‘Jordan Eberle Comparables part 2’ and you begin the whole thing about how the first finding extrapolated from another set of raw data was not up to your cynical standards (your words not mine), I can only think you had a particular thing about Eberle you wanted to prove and went out to find data that supported your theory he will be more like a 50-60 point guy.

          Especially in the field of journalism you take a story and throw ‘evidence’ in order to support a conclusion decided upon by the journalist long before the story or the data started. Obviously that’s not what’s supposed to happen, but do you really, really believe that isn’t what happens.

          Do you actually think you were just looking over some lists and said, you know to me this looks like Eberle will be 50 – 60 point guy? Or did you not in fact start his article by saying, “I wonder what other data would support the claim that Jordan Eberle will be a 50 – 60 point guy?’

          Not asking you to support something you don’t believe in, just asking you to dig through your data and sources to see if there’s anything that could support Eberle being a 80 – 90 point guy. Because so far the best data you have is based on the seasons of other hockey players and not actually on the season Eberle had. Or if you don’t want to try and support this idea, how about using the data to try and discover why his shooting percentage was so hi, then looking at comparables of that type?

    • So, we’re talking about a roughly 11% reduction in total goals at even-strength from guys not named Eberle? Or, with Eberle’s IPP of ~0.85, a 9% reduction in total assists?

      That bumps him down the list but still leaves him in the same range of players I’m looking at here.

    • Sounds good. For the purposes of this discussion I’ve sort of been ignoring his goal totals/shooting% and just trying to guess at a hit on assists.

      So that number changes his hit on assists to about 8 when also adjusting his IPP to 80%. (which is obviously not automatic)

      So this drops him to about 68 points before adjusting for his own shooting%.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    All this said, Eberle’s skill set doesn’t seem all that different then Tanguay, so he just might end up being a consistent shooting percentage freak.

  • What about the fact tha Eberle had 42 assists?? What effect does his “unrealisticly high shooting percentage” have on that?

    And lest we forget, he was stone cold to start the year.

    I will be SHOCKED if Eberle is not a 70-80 point player plus over the term of this deal. If you don’t beleive this, you have been crunching too many numbers and not watching the hockey games. This guy is an unreal player.

  • One thing to remember is what Eberle did following his rookie season re: shooting – he practiced during the offseason on a faster release as he noted the goalies reacted much more quickly in the show. While luck may have helped on a small amount of extra goals, this had the biggest impact on his shooting % IMHO. As long as he does not get lazy and continues to tweak his game from season to season I can see him maintaining a higher shooting % throughout his career.

    In addition, you have to take his centreman in the rookie and 2nd seasons into account. Horcoff is not close to the same playmaker as Nuge. Once the Nuge hits his stride in a year or two then Ebs could have consistent Kurri like percentages as tap ins/open net one-timers count just the same as a sick dangle.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    What about the fact tha Eberle had 42 assists?? What effect does his “unrealisticly high shooting percentage” have on that?

    Asking this question is code for “I couldn’t be bothered to read the post or comments but I like to say things.”

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    For me, while i understand the math and the reasoning behind the expectations. There is just a few points that i can’t get over enough to agree.

    For starters while i will agree that his sp% will probably regress to some extent. I do think that with his skillset, shot selectiveness, and calibre of linemates. He will probably have relatively high sp%, maybe even near top of the league for most of his career.

    The big problem i have though is that to use sp% to predict regression in goal scoring seems as though it is flawed to me. Are we to assume that players get the same amount of shots on goal every year? What about the quality of shots on goal? Can we reasonably assume that all players have the same % of high quality scoring chances in relation to thier total shots on goal?

    I think these numbers can vary quite a bit from player to player, and year to year. Now i realize in most instances you can say that there is generally a mean, and most players don’t stray too far from it from year to year and that is true i’m sure in many cases.

    So now how does all this relate to our young Mr. Eberle?

    We agree the sp% will regress a little. (though i don’t see it dropping as much as most) Do we think that last year will be his career mean for amount of shots on goal, and relative % of high quality scoring chances? Or even as JW suggests maybe his rookie year will actually be the mean,with him far exceeding his career averages last year.

    Well i for 1 think that there is plenty to suggest that he probably still hasn’t hit his career mean in those categories. It is laughable to think that his rookie year playing with Horc, and a rookie Hall, could give him anywhere near career numbers.

    His toi last year was very low compared to the other top players (statically speaking) And subsequently his pts./60 was at or near the top of the league.

    I see him getting much more min. as time goes on, and with the quality of his linemates only getting better (ie. other kids getting older and better, and of course The NUGE) as well as his own abilities improving. Also improved chemistry as they play and grow together.

    All this to me points to Ebs getting much more shots, along with much more high quality scoring chances as time goes on. This should imo offset his lowered sp% more than enough to make up the difference, and maybe even exceed his total offence thus far.

    Anyhow i will be shocked if he is not at least a point per game player, capable of a few 40, and maybe even 50 goal seasons before his career with this group of young oilers is done.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    Best way to see if Eberle’s shooting percentage is for real is to look at his shooting percentage in five game segments and see how consistent it is..
    Go back to his junior days if you have to and compare it to other same aged players shooting percentage and goal totals..

    I for one believe that Eberle is all brains and is always one step ahead of the opposition, you see it not only in his shots but his positioning, and how he strips much bigger and stronger guys off the puck consistently..
    And now he’s starting to add some physicality..
    Him, RNH, and Yakupov all seem to have much higher hockey IQs than most players..
    Hall in my opinion has slightly above average hockey IQ but his drive is on another level.

    Just my four cents.

  • Although Ebs clearly had a season where his shooting percentage was above what can reasonably be expected on a year to year basis, I believe that if Nuge and Hall can stay healthy, Yakupov and Schultz are immediately impact players, and Ebs can keep his sht% at or above 12% we can expect him to repeat his 70+ pt season.

    This really isn’t all that unreasonable. I think Nuge will probably emerge as one of the true top playmakers in the league over the next few seasons and Eberle will benefit in a massive way. I also think that Yakupov and Hall will both be the beneficiaries of some beauty passes from Eberle on the PP and 5v5.

    Remember Ebs’ backhand pass to smytty on the doorstep? or his late cross crease feed to hall in the same spot? Sure his sht% may drop, but what about his playmaking abilities? if Hall isn’t injured for 20 games and Yakupov is the sniper the scouts claim… Eberle can easily repeat his 42 apple season, if not increase it. What about schultz’ impact? What if he’s as good as Gardiner? You don’t think Eberle will benefit in both the apple and goal columns with a guy like that manning the pp?

    Even if his sht% does drop to 13% there are enough other variables in play that a season of 25g 45a is completely reasonable to expect.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    A question we should be asking is “How many times does a player’s best statistical season correspond with his best shooting percentage?”

    Elias has 4 seasons of higher point totals then his best season in terms of shooting %.
    Heatley’s best shooting% season is tied for 4th amongst his best years.
    Havlat 2nd best season.
    Gagne 4th best season.
    Ryan Tied for 3rd best (out of 4)
    Sykora Best season.
    Williams 2nd best
    Bouchard 2nd best
    Horton 6th best.
    Samsonov 4th best season.

    Seems like most of Eberle’s comparables put up more points in seasons other then their strongest season of shooting percentage. Guys like Havlat, Gagne, Bouchard, Williams, the majority of players who did not put up a number of seasons better then their high sh% season generally have had careers marred by injury.

    Virtually all of them increased their shots taken per year through seasons 1-4 of their careers. That is the main reason I don’t think you can put a cap on Eberle’s potential yet. We don’t know how many shots he will be taking in his prime. Its way too early to be talking about Eberle’s past season being his outlier.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    You are pessimistic about everyone. Let’s face it. I wouldn’t be surprised to see averages with any player fluctuate from game to game and season to season. I have generally stopped reading your posts because they are boring. It’s too bad you can’t enjoy the game more and stop trying to be an over-analytical stats gnome.

  • MessyEH!

    It would be interesting to see if Nuges other linemates had high shooting percentages. Who had the first assists on Ebs goals? Maybe Nuge is the anomaly that caused the push in Ebs shooting percentage. Not luck.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    Patrick Elias/Daniel Briere type is where I put Eberle. So your column seems online. 70 ppy average, very special in the playoffs.

    6 mil per year? about right.

  • IN DEFENCE OF STATS. They make for conversation and raise expectations on the game and players . It’s like handicapping the horses – value added and heightened expectations . Stats are an integral part of game and often strategies are made by each team to reflect that . Like it or not we all analyize game before we go and also during play -just not very often statistically . If the stats were not flexible and fluctuating it would make for a dull game and unentertaining a majority of times . They merely show with a modicum of accuracy certain trends that one might expect or look for . THUS IT ADDS TO ENJOYMENT OF GAME OVERALL . It does sadly lack in the human element and circumstances a majority of times , however . Stats are TRENDY (pun) .

  • I get that stacking offensive players together often doesn’t result in more points for everyone. But it is more likely then most other situations.

    Chemistry between hockey players is a fickle thing.

    Crosby and Malkin both seem equally effective with or without one another. Placing them on the same line hasn’t seemed to really increase either of their offensive outputs.

    Then you have situations like Hartnell’s and Lupuls. Where chemistry plays such a large role that the weaker player produces far more pts then their talent level would be indicate be reasonable.

    But its important to look at the big picture for Eberle. Around the league combos like Zetterberg Datsyuk. Getzlaf Perry Sedin Sedin Gabo Richards Spezza Alfy Ovie Backstrom etc… are far more likely to have success then the rarities like Lupul Kessel. A pair I am still skeptical of.

    When you have the amount of talent the oilers have, together for 9 years. The odds that SOMEONE generates good chemistry with someone else increases dramatically.

    So when I say it is reasonable to expect eberle to put up 25g and 45a next season I don’t think I’m far off. We already know he can click with Nuge. What we don’t know is how he will work alongside Yak or with J Schultz on the back end. All I’m saying is I like his odds of repeating. 13% SP and 70pt season I predict.

    Completely reasonable.

    And that’s if he only plays 10 games. Art Ross 574 pts in p. 82 gp. 215 pts is still respectable Wayne.

  • MessyEH!

    An example I can think of is Hull and Oates. Hull’s best shooting percentages were the three years with Oates. Stamkos and Stlouis, and Gretzky and Kurri are other examples.

  • Spydyr

    Ebs shooting percentage is high because he is too smart a player to go down his wing and flip a muffin in the goalies crest.He will always make the smart play(well most times he is human….sorry Wayne)be that pass or shoot.

    Can’t seeing that changing .He is not going to lose that great hockey sense he has .It will only get better.

    Now for comparisons.Normally don’t go there as I feel each player is their own player.But will this time because I’m all giddy about the two signings.I’m going to say it……Joe Sakic.

    Smaller player, very cerebral,quick accurate shot.Plays hard every game.Good defensively.Captain material.

  • Spydyr

    I might get torn apart for saying this but Eberle and his traits as a player and a guy who can take the physicality and maintain his cool in tight and around checkers reminds me of Peter Forsberg. How many highlights have we seen Forsberg dipsy doodling in tight and having his way down low? Much the same way Eberle has been doing.

    Mind you Forsberg played the formidable years of his career in the dead puck era says he has way more skill then Eberle or at least more strength. I think the comparable here is Eberle is Forsberg Lite. Once he puts on more weight and gets stronger Ebs is going to be a force all on his own. Forsberg never once got accused of having a howitzer shot but the guy could score and dangle.