Jordan Eberle's second season has been a lot of fun to watch. He not only leads the Oilers in goals, assists, and points but he's among the NHL leaders in those categories as well. As of this morning Eberle's 25 goals place him in a tenth place tie league wide and with 55 points he's tied for eleventh, just a single point out of the top ten. After finishing his rookie season with 43 points, good for tops on last year's version of the Oilers, Eberle hasn't missed a beat in his sophomore season.
Eberle has certainly benefitted this season from Tom Renney's decision to shelter the Chosen Line with generous zone starts and second tier competition on an almost nightly basis, not to mention a shooting percentage mere decimal points below 20%, but to his credit he's excelled in that role. You can argue that his numbers are inflated but his skills are undeniable and he looks like he will be a very good NHL player for a very long time.
|Rank||Player||DOB||Drafted||Year||Ben ||Bruce ||DB ||Derek ||Jon||Ryan||Scott|
Some nights it's not a lot of fun to be an Oilers fan as they lose game after game after game but when Eberle gets the puck you can't help but get excited. He can shoot. He can pass. He can make veteran NHL defenders look silly as he moves around them. That skill set is why he ranks at number three in our Top 25 Under 25.
With the exception of Derek everyone ranked Eberle within a spot of his overall rank with DB and I ranking him higher than the rest of the group. And although he still has him ranked outside of the top five Derek did move Eberle up a spot from seventh last time; his thoughts on Eberle:
I cede all points about skill, ability and scoring. But Eberle, more than any of the THE YOUNG GUNZ1, has been a liability defensively and the guys I've ranked above him have demonstrated a greater propensity to play in their own zone.
I won't argue that Eberle, or any of the others on the Chosen Line, need to be better at the Oilers end of the ice. But as a winger Eberle's responsibilities in the defensive zone are lighter than they would be if he were playing centre so that improvement should be easier for him. To my eye I think he's demonstrated the ability to play in his own end and it's something that just needs more time to come around.
So what type of player can we expect Eberle to be? I think he can be a consistent 65-70 point player. He will almost certainly surpass those numbers this season but I don't think we should be expecting him to repeat this performance on a yearly basis or project his future based on this season's stats. His PDO sits at 1049 right now, the eighth highest number among NHL forwards this season, so sooner or later this run of good luck is going to come to an end. But even when that does happen we're still going to be left with a very good hockey player.