Time flies. It doesn’t seem that long ago that Seattle Kraken forward Jordan Eberle was a first-round draft pick of the Edmonton OIlers, 22nd-overall in 2008, just ahead of the futility that led to the franchise getting three consecutive top overall picks.
In 2010 they chose Taylor Hall, who the Oilers ended up trading six years later to the New Jersey Devils for current Kraken defenseman Adam Larsson. In 2011 the club selected Ryan Nugent-Hopkins with the top pick, a versatile two-way forward who still plays with the organization, sometimes on the top line.
Then there was the 2012 Nail Yakupov top overall-pick. How does the musical decrescendo sound effect go? “WAH WAh Wah waaaaaaaaaah.”
All that said, playing for an expansion franchise in Seattle shouldn’t have been much of an adjustment for Eberle, as for all intents and purposes, he had sort of been there before.
Eberle turned 32-years-of-age in May, one of the Kraken’s elder statesman, one with plenty to offer and with two years remaining on a $5.5-million annual contract with which to offer it.
Kraken Prospect Productivity
Eberle has been consistent since entering the NHL. He had his career high 34 goals with the Oilers his second year in the league. He’s tallied 20+ goals seven different times, including last season with the Kraken when he finished with 21.
One could argue he could have reached the 20+ mark a few more times from 2018-to-2021 but was playing under a tighter brand of hockey with coach Barry Trotz and the New York Islanders. He had 25 goals his first season on Long Island under head coach Doug Weight.
The point is, Eberle is still quite capable, as seen Tuesday night with his two goals in the 5-1 Seattle Kraken victory over the Nashville Predators. The 5-foot-11, 190-pound winger has ten points in 14 games this season. His analytics are strong.
Eberle was never big, never the greatest skater, but his hockey sense and his sniping ability remain fluid. As long as he and the rest of the Kraken forwards are taking care of the 200-foot game, then Seattle can look ahead optimistically.
“You like at our lines, the depth up front, each night we’re getting contributions from different guys, different lines,” Eberle said postgame on Tuesday. “Last game in Pittsburgh “Gourdey’s” (Yanni Gourde) line was unbelievable, the night before that (Morgan) Geekie gets one, just every night. That’s the key to winning, if you have contributions every night throughout it (the line-up), that’s tough to beat, that’s, in my mind, playoff hockey, that’s what gets you far.”
Snap your fingers: from high profile prospect to thirty-something veteran. What hasn’t changed; Jordan Eberle still has plenty to contribute.