On this day in 2008, the Edmonton Oilers drafted Jordan Eberle
3 months ago
On this day in 2008, the Edmonton Oilers drafted forward Jordan Eberle from the Regina Pats with the 22nd overall pick in the NHL Draft.
Eberle joined the Western Hockey League in 2006 after being drafted in the seventh round, 126 overall to the Pats in the 2005 WHL Bantam Draft. His draft ranking didn’t speak for the young forward’s skill, and he quickly became a 50-point scorer in his first season.
His ability to find the back of the net and impressive backhand and wrist shot captured the attention of scouts across the league. In 2007-08, Eberle potted 42 goals and 75 points, helping the Pats push into playoff contention. Their playoff run ended early after just five games; Eberle scored two goals and six points.
Just as quickly as the Pats season ended, he was off winning a gold medal with the U-18 Team Canada at the World Championships in Russia, where he scored four goals and 10 points.
As the draft rolled around, Eberle was one of 26 WHL players invited to the event and quickly became a top prospect. As 21 players slipped on jerseys before him, he could only sit and wait. There was one thing for certain, Eberle wanted to be an Oiler.
“Growing up (the Oilers) were my favourite team all along,” Eberle told Edmonton Oilers analyst Morley Scott.
Soon enough, Oilers then-general manager Kevin Lowe and company took the stage with the 22nd overall pick, and within minutes Eberle was slipping on a copper and blue jersey.
“Going through the list before the draft (the Oilers) were kind of my dream pick,” boasted Eberle to Morley, sporting an ear-to-ear smile.
“I know that they’ve shown interest, I met with them a couple times and getting picked by them, it’s just a dream come true.”
The dream started to come to life at the draft and was in full swing two years later when Eberle stepped onto the ice at Rexall Place on October 7th, 2010. Playing amongst thousands of Oilers fans it was not just his NHL debut but his first of many Battle of Alberta’s.
On a short-handed opportunity, he scored his first of 165 goals in Oilers threads that night, toe-dragging around Calgary Flames defenceman Ian White and beating Flames netminder Mikka Kiprusoff to find the back of the net.
“It was only one game, but I think the fans got a glimpse of the future tonight,” Oilers captain Shawn Horcoff told the Edmonton Journal‘s Jim Matheson.
A glimpse of the future is right. Eberle played in 507 games over his seven years in Edmonton, becoming a fan favourite and a crucial part of the Oilers’ offencee.
In 2017, after an unsuccessful postseason, the Oilers were looking for a player that could be an addition to rising superstars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, which resulted in trading Eberle to the New York Islanders on June 22nd for Ryan Strome.
From this day in 2008 until now, Eberle will always remain a part of the Oilers’ history, from potting his first NHL goal, the cheesy commercials around Edmonton, to becoming a part of the team that broke the Oilers from the decade of darkness Eberle will have always written his first NHL chapter here in Edmonton.
Aleena Aksenchuk is an intern with Oilersnation and the Nation Network. She can be found on Twitter at @A_Aksenchuk8.
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