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Jordan Eberle's Era-Adjusted Comparables Are...Unexpected

Jordan Eberle's comparables move a forgotten scoring star back to the limelight.

Maruk, Maruk, Maruk is on fire.
Maruk, Maruk, Maruk is on fire.
Jamie Squire

Earlier today, I asked for reader suggestions for era-adjusted comparables for Jordan Eberle. I mentioned in the post that I had a couple in mind, and while I had one close, I missed the boat on the others. I'll be up front. I thought I nailed the comps and I was way off. I chose Jaromir Jagr, Teemu Selanne, Howie Morenz and Luke Skywalker. I was shocked to see that only Luke Skywalker outpaced Eberle and none of the rest of them measure up to Eberle's first three seasons in the NHL.

Our huddled masses chose: Greg Adams, Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Arnott, Mike Bossy x2, Rod Brind’Amour, Dino Ciccarelli, Marcel Dionne, Kevin Dineen Chris Drury, Sergei Federov, Theoren Fleury, Ron Francis, Simon Gagne, Danny Gare, Mike Gartner, Bernie Geoffrion, Doug Gilmour, Milan Hejduk, Bobby Holik, Bobby Hull, Jarome Iginla, Dave Keon, Jamie Langenbrunner, Joe Malone, Alexander Mogilny x2, Joe Mullen x4, Mark Recchi, Cliff Ronning, Geoff Sanderson, Denis Savard, Brendan Shanahan, Anton Stastny, Steve Sullivan, Alex Tanguay x4, Rick Tocchet, Doug Weight x3, and Ray Whitney

Obviously, if Jagr, Selanne and Morenz aren't measuring up, the reader suggestions aren't either. I kid. Actually, I chose Pierre Larouche, Sergei Samsonov, Dave Keon, and Joe Mullen. The results were interesting.

Eberle is very close to, but ahead of ahead of guys like Dino Cicarelli Danny Gare, Simon Gagne (though he recovers...well), Tom Lysiak, Sergei Samsonov, and Alex Tanguay, but behind men like Max Bentley, Busher Jackson, Jari Kurri, Alex Mogilny and Bobby Smith. I forgot that Joe Mullen didn't get to the NHL until age 24, so he's not even in the discussion.

Era-Adjusted Points/82
Age Keon Maruk Eberle Arnott Babych
20 53 56 56 73 66
21 78 72 90 72 72
22 68 70 71 72 79
23 76 81
44 53
24 66 83
68 35
25 63 64
66 37

Eberle's closest era-adjusted comparables are Dave Keon, Dennis Maruk, Jason Arnott and Wayne Babych.

Eberle's G/P Ratio

Eberle and Maruk track closely

Of the four closest comparables, Dave Keon is the one that strikes me as furthest from Eberle's game. While Keon was a mostly penalty-free player who ruled the offensive zone with a great shot and wicked backhand, he was a fanastic all-zones centre and excelled on the penalty kill and on defense. Keon was incredibly athletic and fast. Arnott has strikingly similar numbers and possessed a great skill level and creative ability, but he was an enormous centre who had a very rough go of it in his 23 year-old season thanks to following the leadership of one of the truly terrible teammates in the NHL who somehow reigned as Captain of the Oilers for a time. That led to a poor choice of words and a ticket out of town in the midst of a brutal season with output so low he wouldn't see those levels again until he turned 36.

Babych is interesting in that his rookie season shooting percentage was 13.8, followed by 16.4, then 17.6 which coincided with a career peak in shots and 54 goals. He was hampered by injuries in 1981-82, then lost linemates Bernie Federko and Brian Sutter and wasn't the same without them. He couldn't match even his sophomore year shooting percentage of 16.4% over the next five seasons and his shots per game numbers collapsed, the two numbers took his boxcars with them for the rest of his career. His 27 goals in his rookie year was the second-highest total of his career.

Stylistically, Dennis Maruk is dead-on, in my opinion, as an Eberle comp:

As far as on-ice results go, Maruk's 23 and 24 year-old seasons were similar: he posted 81 and 83 EA points, but was hamstrung by injuries in Washington during his 25 year-old season. If Eberle were to mirror Maruk's on-ice production, he would have a wonderful career and pay enormous dividends on his six-year contract. Below is a table showing Maruk's era-adjusted numbers and the current era numbers Eberle would post (assuming goal-scoring will remain mostly steady) if he matched Maruk:

Age Maruk Era-Adj/82 Eberle current equivalent
23 81 72 Eberle contract years
24 83 73
25 64 57
26 74 66
27 108 96
28 63 56
29 54 48
30 52 46
31 56 50
32 46 41

70 points per over the next six seasons would be magnificent, giving him 576 points in his first 9 seasons in the league.