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Iced Up Youngsters: Jordan Eberle

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The Edmonton Oilers are a low budget team that stakes it’s reputation on drafting well and developing young talent.  To many peoples surprise, it looks like Jordan Eberle is the man leading their latest resurgence.

Career Stats: Games – Goals – Assits

2010-2011: 9 – 4 – 4

He’s not the rookie that you expected to lead the Oilers, but so far he’s jumped into the lead amongst rookie scorers. Amanda DiPaulo already proclaimed, on our site, that he’s the favorite for the Calder Trophy.

Profile: Eberle played for the Regina Pats of the WHL, racking up points and proving himself worthy of a 1st round selection in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.  While racking up points (310pts in 254 games) he also collected his fair share of awards: two player of the month awards, 2 time all-star, WHL Scholastic Player in 2008, WHL Player of the Year in 2010, and CHL Player of the Year in 2010. He also wore the maple leaf several times in his career, and he made his nation proud.  In the 2008 IIHF World Junior Championships, he helped Canada end their 5 year gold medal drought. when he notched 10 points in 7 games. Over the next few tournaments he added to his resume, especially coming through in the clutch: a game tying goal with 5 seconds left against Russia in 2009 followed by the game winner in the shootout, 2 goals in the final 3 minutes against the US in 2010 to force overtime, and the list goes on. He also stepped up to play for the senior team in 2010 after injuries took a few players out, and contributed 4 points in 4 games (although all 4 came in 1 game).  Now, it’s early in his first season, but he’s already making waves.  His highlight reel shorthanded tally against the Flames was jaw dropping, and he’s still got about 70 games left to top that.

What makes him special?: This guy plays the game at a very, very high pace. He’s got a quick first step, second step, third step…and by then he’s in your goalies face, and the puck is probably behind him. in addition to his speed, he’s got excellent puck handling skills and strong balance.  That’s a lethal combination for a forward to have.. Eberle plays with more confidence than a typical 20 year old rookie. Each of his first two goals came shorthanded, and both were a result of him driving right at a defender, dancing around him, and then deking the goalie out. First off, it’s already impressive that his coaches have enough faith in his defensive abilities that they have him on the ice killing penalties. Now he’s rewarding them with shorthanded goals, not bad.  He grew up an Oilers fan, and lighting up the scoreboard for them is a dream come true.  A lot of his goals come from close range, so I’m not sure if he’s got a great shot. With the style he plays, he doesn’t need it.  While he’s shifty, he doesn’t dangle and toy around going east-west too much.  He’s more of a north-south player, who bears down on the D and challenges them to stop him, and at the velocity he comes in with, it takes on wrong step and he’s got the edge and creates a good scoring opportunity. Don’t be too shocked if he’s near the top of the scoring race in the next 2-3 years.

Jersey Worthy: Looks like a yes.  Everyone in Edmonton is snatching up Taylor Hall jerseys.  Fans with an Eberle can stand out from the pack.  With his skill set, he’s sure to be a mainstay on the Oilers for quite a few years.

Hate Factor: A bit early to tell. But most finesse players aren’t too into the dirty side of the game. However, there are a few exceptions, so we’ll wait and see on this one.

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Tags: Calgary Flames Edmontno Oilers Jordan Eberle Russia Taylor Hall Team Canada World Junior Championships

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