I’ll leave the squealing and tossing of panties to Wanye, but on the occasion of Jordan Eberle’s 24 birthday today, it’s worth noting what a terrific hockey player he’s been for the Edmonton Oilers during four mostly miserable seasons with this floundering franchise.
Playing on a rebuilding team that’s done almost nothing but lose since he first pulled on the Oil Drop in 2010-11 – finishing 30th, 29th, 24th, and 28th – Eberle has risen above the futility to produce 221 points in the 275 regular season games he’s played since being drafted 22nd from the Pats in 2008.
The 2008 class also includes Drew Doughty, taken second overall by Los Angeles, and Alex Pietrangelo, taken fourth by St. Louis. Outside of those four players, all taken higher, I can’t think of anybody who has accomplished more or been better than Eberle as he blows out 24 candles on the cake.
Eberle, coming off a season in which he scored 65 points in 80 games and was paid $6 million in the first year of a six-year contract worth $36 million, is just now entering his prime years. He’s not a kid any more. What you see now is close to what you’re going to get, although we could see a slight rise in Eberle’s point totals — if the Oilers actually manage to improve as a team.
How many playoff berths might we see from Eberle, Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and the Oilers over these next five years after eight straight seasons out of the post-season mix? One? Two? Three? None? What are the odds of all three of them being here in our shiny, new rink then?
Godspeed, MacT. Happy birthday, Ebs.