It was 14 years ago today that the Edmonton Oilers drafted Jordan Eberle 22nd overall and my god, does that make me feel old.
I remember the Eberle draft well, and man did the Oilers hit it out of the park with him. The Oilers had acquired that draft pick from the Anaheim Ducks in the Chris Pronger trade and made good use of it.
While Eberle was a smaller forward, he showed incredibly well in the WHL. He scored 42 goals and 75 points in 70 games in his draft year and went back for two more very successful seasons. He also led the way for the Canadian World Juniors in 2008 helping secure a gold medal and later a silver in 2009.
He broke onto the scene in Edmonton scoring one of the nicest first goals in NHL history, and he showed no signs of slowing down. His most productive year in Edmonton came in his second year, where he scored 34 goals and 76 points in 78 games.
His time in Edmonton came to an end after the 2016-17 season. While he put up a good offensive campaign scoring 20 goals and 51 points in 82 games, Eberle’s first bout in the playoffs saw him score just two assists in 13 games. The Oilers panicked and traded him to the New York Islanders setting off a series of unfortunate events the club still reels from to this day.
Nonetheless, Eberle’s continued a strong NHL career with stints on the Island and most recently in Seattle, and will forever be a fan favourite in Oil Country.
Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at [email protected]