Why Jordan Eberle Shouldn’t Make the Club by Justin Lepper

A flashy, confident and young goal scorer. That sounds like a puzzle piece that’s been missing for a long time. But I believe that it shall go missing for awhile longer.

For the Edmonton Oilers who have many questions, Jordan Eberle is not this years answer. Moreover, if he makes the club, it will be due to the brain trust’s inability to do their job. A proven 25 goal scorer has been sorely needed for a long time in these desperate parts, but when all else fails can you really fall on 19 year old kid?

Jordan Eberle is not a wunderkind along the likes of Filatov, Hodgson and even Sam Gagner. When Lowetide ran Eberle’s numbers from this past year through Gabriel Desjardin’s NHL Equivalency it was nothing earth shattering.

Per 82 games: 14 Goals 16 Assists 30 Pts

Now before I continue, a quick snippet of Desjardin’s beauty work.

Desjardin’s NHL Equivalency (NHLE) is a comparable for a prospect’s or general player’s NHL potential based on a prior season in a different league. His equivalencies with NHL prospects from North America border on witchcraft, they’re scary accurate. Lowetide did a piece on NHLE for 07-08 and 08-09’s rookie crop and here they are:

Patrick Kane, OHL: 26-36-62 (ACTUAL: 82gp, 21-51-72)
Sam Gagner, OHL: 16-39-55 (ACTUAL: 79gp, 13-36-49)
David Perron, QMJHL: 13-14-27 (ACTUAL: 62gp, 13-14-27)

Steve Stamkos, OHL: 23-19-42 (ACTUAL: 23-23-46)
Drew Doughty, OHL: 6-23-29 (ACTUAL: 6-21-27)
Luke Schenn, WHL: 3-9-12 (ACTUAL: 2-10-12)
Mikael Boedker, OHL: 12-17-29 (ACTUAL: 11-17-28)
Josh Bailey, OHL: 11-24-35 (ACTUAL: 7-18-25)


Now in a results driven world, that’s exactly what I’m talking about! But back to Eberle.

Based on NHLE we can expect a fairly accurate assessment regarding Eberle’s potential. We come to the conclusion that 14 goals from a sub 6ft forward whom is not great defensively is in no short supply. Who would Eberle be really upgrading on the roster? Most people would say Robert Nilsson, but the fact remains those kind of numbers are exactly what we could expect from whipping-boy Bobby.

Eberle is a confident kid. He will come in with the expectation to be a 20 goal scorer. It's not fact and it's not feasible. At 170-180 lbs he’s not built for NHL duity, and despite a squeaky clean injury history (in regard to major injuries), he’s at risk to get hurt. Feeding him to the wolves while there are equally talented (at this point) players on the roster is not the best option.

The smart play is to send Jordan Eberle either back to Regina to star for the Pats or make him an integral part of a rebuilding Springfield Falcons squad (at his age how long that might happen is another topic for another day), but at his talent level he is bound to perform at an extremely high level anywhere except the NHL.

Allow him time to learn how to be a pro from the guys in the minors who have grinded it out for years with micro pay compared to NHL cheques. If making 65 thousand dollars a year in the AHL and staring across the locker room at a first round bust in Rob Schremp doesn’t light a fire under his ass I’m not so sure anything will.


I was under the impression he couldn't be sent to the minors. He would have to return to the Pats.

September 24, 2009 at 8:07 AM comment-delete

While I'm not sure if Justin has dug into that fully to see where exactly that fits, my understanding is that they would send him to the PATS and that he can play in the AHL, but not all year.

I know he played some time in Springfield last year, but his age is a factor.

I'd be interested to see how exactly that works.

September 24, 2009 at 8:46 AM comment-delete

Due to his age he can play in both places, and from what the braintrust is suggesting this might be the case. He would play the regular season and playoffs in the WHL and finish the year on springfield.
His age prevents him from being a regular, I'm not sure of the exact game limit, but im sure if (HUGE if) Springfield makes the playoffs he can participate.
And one last thing thats been suggested is that he may start the season with the Oilers, he is alotted 9 games with the big club before his contract kicks in.

September 24, 2009 at 9:54 AM comment-delete

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