It was 12 years ago yesterday that the Edmonton Oilers drafted Jordan Eberle in the first round 22nd overall.
Edmonton got their hands on the pick used to select Eberle in the Chris Pronger trade and was without a doubt the best asset they got back in the deal. Eberle had been ranked towards the back end of the first round so Edmonton taking him at 22.
In his rookie campaign in 2010-11, Eberle, who spent parts of two seasons prior between the WHL and AHL, scored 18 goals and 43 points in 69 games including what is, in my opinion, one of the best first goals of all time. It was a sign of things to come from him. He was a wildly consistent offensive threat and never dipped below .62 points per game for the remainder of his time in Edmonton.
He was a shining bright spot in some really tough years in Edmonton and I think it’s time people start to appreciate what we had in him. Eberle became a major scapegoat over the years and was run out of town after a poor playoff performance in 2017.
Eberle was what he was — a highly-skilled winger who shied away from big contact and there was nothing wrong with that. He was a sleuth in the offensive zone and always did a good job of creating space for himself. People would ride him for his “soft” play but often forget about his ability to score and generate offence.
The 2016-17 season ended up being his last in the league. In 82 games in the regular season, he scored 20 goals and 31 assists for 51 points, but in the playoffs, Eberle faltered. His puck luck was terrible and he only scored two assists in 13 games.
In what was a terrible trade then and even worse deal now, then Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli traded Jordan Eberle to the New York Islanders for… Ryan Strome. Eberle has gone on to score 60 goals and 136 points in 217 games there.
Strome’s first year in Edmonton was relatively strong, all things considering. He scored 13 goals and 34 points in 82 games, but in year two he struggled mightily. Through 18 games, he scored only one goal and one assist.
And just as it appeared Strome was improving, he was dealt to the New York Rangers for Ryan Spooner. In the last two season with the Rangers he’s scored 92 points in 133 games.
Spooner lasted no longer than 25 games in Edmonton.
All in all, Eberle is a missed part of the Oilers top-six and quite frankly he should’ve never been traded.
On Twitter: @zjlaing