In Oil Country, anticipation is really starting to build for the upcoming season. And as much as I'm prone to find faults with the current Oilers team (and the nine or ten preceding this one), there's plenty of things to be really excited for. As Oiler fans, we're no doubt ready to see a giant leap forward for Connor McDavid. The sky's the limit, or so we hope.
If the Oilers don't do the right thing and pair Nail Yakupov with Connor McDavid, there's a better than fair chance that Jordan Eberle will be the guy who's picked. Eberle's been a bonafide talent since the moment the Oilers selected him at 22nd overall in 2008. Since joining the Oilers, he's suited up in 425 games, averaging just under 64 points a season. So what's fair to expect from him in 2016-17?
A few notes
- Jordan Eberle had a hell of a season in 2011-12 when he scored 76 points (34-42-76) in 78 games, a season that was clearly and obviously an outlier season. But man, it was fun. Eberle shot nearly 19% that season (compared to 14.1 in his career).
- Way back in 2013-14, I wrote a similar article to this one. An argument that seemed to be popular in some circles was that Eberle could continue his wild shooting percentage luck. Since that's been proven to be wrong, does a whole season (or large chunks of a season) with Connor McDavid make Jordan Eberle shoot the puck more, leading to more goals?
- This was pretty cool.
- 2015-16 saw Eberle sustain a shoulder injury in a preseason game. The injury kept Eberle to just 47 points in 69 games played, but he still managed to score 25 goals on the year. (25-22-47). It was the first time in six NHL seasons that he had more goals than assists in a season.
There's a really good chance that you see Eberle paired with McDavid for a significant part of the season. Eberle will also get some primo power play time, and his time on ice will very likely make him the 1RW for all of 2016-17. He'll be counted on to do some great things alongside McDavid if that's where he's at. What will 2016-17 look like for the kid from Regina?