Jordan Eberle’s time with Springfield this season (9gp, 4-7-11 -1) was positive and it looks like the Oilers are serious about employing a slower track development plan. It might mean Eberle gets the Tyler Ennis treatment (an entire year in the AHL, where he was named rookie of the year in that league).
The Oilers are lacking at the major league and minor league level at this time, and having the kind of depth in the minor leagues boasted by a team like the Buffalo Sabres would be a welcome change. It is going to take awhile, but an Oklahoma City team with the likes of Eberle, Omark, Vande Velde, Petry, Chorney and Dubnyk mixed in with veterans like Linglet, Minard and Arsene just might have a chance to win more than they lose. And they might be able to help out the big league club with a better quality callup, too. The AHL site lists rookie scoring and the leading Falcon is Ryan MacMurchy (tied for 90th). Eberle is tied for 99th after 9 games.
The Oilers are likely to go several years without losing as many man games to injury as they did this season, but it is also true that the minor league team under Kevin Prendergast has been subpar for several years running. Perhaps Eberle, Oklahoma City and the new hires represent a turning of the page and an adoption of a more traditional model.