Despite our high hopes for both Jordan Eberle and Riley Nash, history tells us that one will become a useful player and the other a fringe type or worse. The problem is that no one can identify the player who will succeed yet.
Season over season both are progressing nicely. Eberle’s point-per-game progression season-over-season (1.07 to 1.22) is solid despite a team slump that has impacted all of the Pats since Christmastime. Eberle’s well off that 50-goal pace that seemed likely earlier in the season and his splits are a concern:
- First 23gp: 16-15-31 1.35ppg +4
- Second 23gp: 12-13-25 1.09ppg E
It’s a team slump but you’d like those second half numbers to spike before season’s end. The Pats are scoring a little more this season (3.18 goals-per-game compared to 3.01) overall.
Riley Nash is having a good season. His points-per-game number has improved marginally (.889 to .913) but his splits are going in the right direction:
- First 12 games: 4-4-8 .667
- Second 11 games: 5-8-13 1.18
He started slow but has come along and in fact his scoring has improved season over season on a club that is scoring fewer goals overall (2.43 this season compared to 2.83 a year ago).
When I listed the Oilers top 20 prospects in December many felt Eberle was a better bet than Nash (I had Nash #1). Based on their seasons and their difference in age (Nash is almost exactly one year older) and the difference in quality of leagues I’d give Nash the nod as top prospect again.