Training Camp Hopeful #3: Jordan Eberle

Despite what some will say, the Oilers don’t often fast track their draft picks. In this decade, only Ales Hemsky (at age 19) and Sam Gagner (straight out of the draft) made the team before graduation day. The two elevations are positively minor compared to the mid-90′s when players like Boyd Devereaux, Jason Bonsignore and Steve Kelly (along with Ryan Smyth) were fast tracked by the team’s management. In fact, a simple way to look at the Oilers and fast tracking is this: if they’re lottery picks Edmonton finds a spot on the roster for them. The only exception to that rule was Hemsky.

There are some signs this summer that a “perfect storm” may be forming with regard to young Jordan Eberle. The kid is a shooter, something the team needs badly. He’s as famous in his own way as Gagner or Hemsky were when they made the grade, and he is at least somewhat known to the team’s new head coach.

Plus, the Edmonton Oilers always like to have a story in training camp to sell the fanbase. It looks like much of this fall`s sports pages will be filled with stories about the “new arena and downtown Vegas” and some of that story could be very negative and painful to the organization. Jordan Eberle might be a nice distraction.

  • How did they get him? 1st rd pick in 2008, a selection that looks very good at this point in time. Although forwards taken right after him (Nemisz, Ennis) are progressing well Eberle had a solid junior season, became a national calibre hero at the WJ`s and then topped it off with a splendid AHL stint.
  • What is his style? Offensive winger, shooter and a good puck handler and passer. Eberle lists Martin St. Louis as his favorite player because they play similar styles. That would be nice. I can`t find his WHL shots-on-goal totals which is maddening. Very smart, lightning hands. He could be an exceptional scorer. He scored 105 goals in 197 WHL games and that`s a good league, and he put up a point-per-game in a late season AHL audition.
  • What are his negatives? Size and his foot speed isn`t blazing. On a team filled with trolls, this is a factor moving forward. Edmonton is going to need a trade for someone like Drew Stafford in the next year or so, but we`ve been saying that for three years now. Anyway, Eberle isn`t that guy, he`s another undersized skill winger.
  • Why wasn’t he more dominant in junior? Well he did play well, but the team sucked wind after the new year. They were really terrible, and we can point the finger at Eberle a little but his splits weren’t awful or anything. In his first 30 games, Eberle went 20-19-39 +1 and in the final 31 games he went 15-20-35 -5. He led his team in goals and points. The one poor stretch was the final 20 games (he went 9-12-21) when his +/- was a horrendous -9.
  • Was he really that good in Springfield? Jonathan Willis is doing some amazing stuff on his various sites and yesterday posted a timely item on the Falcons. It shows Eberle was facing subpar opposition so we need to view his performance in that light. However, it’s also true he was posting some good numbers in a pro league at age 18.
  • Where does he fit on the depth chart? Way down. If we assume he’s a RW, then there’s one job to win: 2line right-winger. The depth chart (at a guess) is Hemsky, Nilsson, Pisani, Stortini, Ryan Stone (or Liam Reddox). Since he can’t play in the AHL there’s no need to list that bunch, so clearly Eberle needs to bump Nilsson (and the others who might end up being 2line RW) in order to make the big team.
  • Is that possible? These are the Edmonton Oilers, anything is possible.
  • Is it probable? No. The most likely plan (if the Oilers are indeed interested in getting to the post-season) is to add a veteran forward and to hold back the water on all forward prospects. The prudent move is to send Jordan Eberle back to the Queen City to score 50 goals and score more famous junior goals.
  • What does the organization think of him? They love him. There’s an article every 10 minutes on oilers.com and that World Junior goal makes him pure Canadiana.
  • How will we know if they’re seriously thinking about him as an NHL option? Kevin Lowe, Kevin Prendergast or Steve Tambellini will say something like “when Pat first asked about keeping him I thought he was joking, but with the way he’s performed in the last two pre-season games I don’t know that we can send him back!”

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26 Responses to "Training Camp Hopeful #3: Jordan Eberle"

  1. B.C.B. says:

    It is a shame that 19 year olds can't play in the AHL. It is (boarder line) criminal actually: as there is no other job I can think of where an legal adult is bared from working because of their age (rather then ability).

    I would think Eberle only has to prove that he is too good for the WHL to make the Oilers, since they cannot send him to the AHL. If the brass thinks he can improve more in a sheltered NHL role then a massive WHL role, then he will stick with the big club (aka Ganger). So I would not be surprised if he sees 3 to 9 games at the NHL level.

  2. oilerdago says:

    I'd be surprised given the depth at RW if he got a sniff this year, unless there's a trade during camp. And that's why you can't say w/100% certainty that he won't be here.

    But I think he's better served with another year in the WHL followed by another stint in the AHL at the end of the year. My fear with him moving up too fast is that he's phyiscally not ready for the size of the NHL game.

    No need to rush the future of this team and if we have another lottery type season, we can build for a better future.

  3. DBO says:

    I hope he gets one more year to mature, grow a bit and gain some strength. And i agree he should be in the AHl. He won't gain much dominating junior (see Shremp), however he will get a ton of ice time, will be a top guy on the junior team and play in the AHl next spring. If the Oil play this right, based on the cap problems that are in the future, eberle and Magnus Pääjärvi-Svensson join the AHL team next year. And if needed they will be cheap options that can fill skill positions on the big club who won't have to clear waivers. In order for a team to compete you need young guys who out perform their contracts. Let Nash-Eberle-Magnus dominate/grow in the AHL for a year. i hope we use the Detroit way and not call guys up until a year or two in the minors. At this point Potulny deserves a call up more, fills a need andhas shown he can play in the bigs (and at a cheap price).

  4. Lowetide says:

    I think there's a very real chance he gets 9 games if he shows well early.

  5. flamingpavelbure says:

    Why did you delete that comment? I nly said Stafford, if changed suit with Penner, wouldn't make a difference. Anyways, yes players can play in the AHL at 19.

  6. Smarmy Boss says:

    Regina's mess is a baffling one. Before the WJC the Pats were battling the Blades for the division lead.

    Coming back to Regina after the WJC might have been a let down for Eberle but it must have been even more so for Colton Teubert. He was the D's anchor and his game completely tanked.

    Eberle coasted more in the second half but every now and then he'd turn on the jets and get a nice goal and keep his point totals going. Besides Eberle the only player worth watching in Regina was Jordan Weals.

  7. quain says:

    It was fairly insulting if I recall correctly.

    And Filatov can play in the AHL at 19 because he came from Russia rather than out of the junior system. Eberle does come from the junior system and therefore is stuck in the WHL… which is obviously what BCB was getting at rather than a case that didn't apply to Eberle.

  8. ian says:

    What would be really beneficial is if the Oilers had a farm team in Sweden so that he could go to the SEL and play in a slightly softer adult league.It is too bad that in professional hockey they can not do the same thing as they do in soccer where you can sign a player on loan for a year.In some cases they pay the players salary in some cases the lending club pay some or all of the players wages.

  9. Smarmy Boss says:

    WHL is a good league and there is no harm in Eberle spending another year in it. In fact, Regina may look at dealing him to one of the powerhouse teams such as Brandon where he gets an automatic opportunity to play in the Memorial Cup.

  10. flamingpavelbure says:

    So only the CHL does that? Because Pacioretty played in the NCAA one year and went AHL and NHL at 19.

  11. Smarmy Boss says:

    In a sense the CHL "owns" the player and it's an agreement between the CHL, NHL, and NHLPA that the CHL is allowed to keep their talent while the player is a teenager. (They are a business after all)

  12. oil dude says:

    I love the prospect, but I can't see him staying in training camp beyond the 4th or 5th preseason game. I think that the new coaching staff is going to be too busy playing all the known NHL players to get familiar with them. WHL is fine for his development as he plays in all situations, as Boss mentioned that would be great to see him get traded to a Brandon (with Rajala) and see what he can do.

  13. PunjabiOil says:

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/Year+Capitals+success+story+lose/1947045/story.html

    Spin master, Patrick LaForge back to his old tricks. Apparently he included the initial investment outlay to assess the first year's net loss of $200,000-$300,000 for the Edmonton Capitals.

  14. SK Oiler Fan says:

    I'd hope they would remember Gilbert Brule starting his NHL carer at 19. or was it 18?

    I don't mind the 9 games in the bigs, dominate the WHL, play WJrs, then get traded to Brandon for the Memorial Cup idea.

    Wow that's alot of hockey for that young man!

    There's some development to be had there and they don't waste a year of his entry level deal.

  15. Dennis says:

    He would be in a much better position if not for being blocked by Alexei Mihknov.

  16. uni says:

    Dennis lives!

    I thought you'd been gored by a moose and left comatose while burning an effigy of Kevin Lowe.

    Also I still hold out some hope that Mikhnov will come over this camp adn blow the doors off the hinges (in a positive way).

    Then again I also still hope I'm going to win the lottery, even though I don't buy tickets.

  17. knighttown says:

    I would think Eberle only has to prove that he is too good for the WHL to make the Oilers, since they cannot send him to the AHL

    This is not John Tavares. Jordan Eberle was drafted in the back half of the first round and whether or not he is eligible to play in the AHL he should be in junior. And he should be in the AHL next year.

    Using LT's wonderful prospect rankings, Eberle'd be what, a five or a six (quality/impact junior player)? to take someone's job he needs to get to a 12 (NHL regular) at least and preferably a 13 (above average NHL player) when you consider the burning of a contract year.

    Unless he's somehow gone from a 6 to a 12 or 13 this summer the Oilers should delete him from the list of options for the good of everyone.

  18. R-Gib says:

    Sounds like Jagr is a dead story.

    "He's really committed to fulfilling the last year of his contract in Russia. But at the completion of that contract I think he'll come back to North America."

    - New Oilers assistant coach and former Avangard Omsk coach Wayne Fleming on Jaromir Jagr, whom he coached in the Kontinental League.

    From THN.

  19. flamingpavelbure says:

    I don't know, John Tavares just smells fluke all the way. Since his Sophomore season, stats have been decreasing each year. And in the WJC, he did stuff, mainly on the PP. His skating abilities are at doubt. But oh well, he should do just fine with Okposo and a nobody. Kind of like Stamkos

  20. R-Gib says:

    $2.5mil for Tanguay?! DAMN.

    How does a first line of Tanguay-Horcoff-Hemsky sound for a cap hit of only $12.1mil.

    That would have been nice.

  21. flamingpavelbure says:

    Rumors are sending, either Dominic Moore (You would love him as your 3rd center) Or Phil Kessel to Edmonton. Both teams are in need of strong N 1/2/3 Dmans, and Edmonton got 4 of those.

  22. Ed says:

    isn't Moore a ufa?

  23. flamingpavelbure says:

    Maybe an RFA? Idk, i think your right since he's not on the Sabres' Depth Chart, well it's even better if you get it for nothing.

    BTW, Rumors sending Comrie to Minnesota instead of Edmonton

  24. spOILer says:

    I'd have to think that despite the duplication in the roster issues, and the difficulty with skating while one of your feet is in your mouth and the other has a massive bullet hole in it, Schremp has a better chance of making the roster than Eberle, and likely would bleed GA less than Jordan at this stage in Jordan's career.

    And he brings Rob Schremp Hockey. How many players can say that?

    I think MC might shred his wig and gown if the Oil were to burn an RFA year(s) on another under 21 type.

  25. Scott says:

    Moore and Kessel… yeah, those are about even values, hahaha.

    I'm not even getting into the obvious problem with the difference in contract status.

  26. Jonathan Willis says:

    Dominc Moore's a UFA.

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