The Edmonton Oilers are reportedly close to signing 2010 1st round pick, forward Taylor Hall, to a contract extension and are also in talks with 2008 first round pick, forward Jordan Eberle, about a possible extension.
The news came to us via twitter by TSN reporter Ryan Rishaug. Rishaug said, “Oilers and Taylor Hall’s camp very close on an extension.” He then added, “Meanwhile negotiations continue with Eberle’s camp. Wouldn’t classify as close, but certainly ongoing at this point.”
The fact the Oilers are in talks to extend two of their franchise players shouldn’t come as a surprise to any one. Especially after we saw the Carolina Hurricanes lock up their 2010 1st round pick, nationally ranked figure skater turned speedy NHL goal scorer Jeff Skinner, with a six year contract extension at the beginning of August.
I expect Hall and Eberle’s contracts to be in the same neighborhood of one another’s and possibly similar to Skinner’s deal, which is worth $34.35 million over six years. TSN’s Rishaug also speculated via Twitter, “Deals for Hall and Eberle may be similar, but are being negotiated completely separately. No crossover talks. They have diff agents”.
Last season for the Oilers, Hall had 27 goals and 26 assists while playing in just 61 games. In Hall’s brief career (two seasons), he is yet to break 70 games played, possibly because of his fearless yet sometimes reckless and often criticized style of play. However there is no doubting his talent and scoring ability, so as he matures it’s my belief that he’ll find that happy medium between going all out and playing smart to become an even better and highly effective hockey player for the Oilers.
Then there is Eberle. Last season for the Oilers Eberle solidified himself as potentially a top 20 player in the NHL with 34 goals (good for 15th in the NHL) and 42 assists for a total of 76 points (also good enough for 15th in the NHL) while playing in 78 games.
Eberle has solid skating ability, great hands, excellent hand-eye coordination to go with a very high hockey IQ and has a penchant for big plays at big times by always seeming to be in the right place at the right time. Just watch Eberle in action here.
I believe it is smart for the Oilers to lock up young, rising stars like Hall and Eberle. Lockout and CBA negotiations aside it appears as though the Oilers are going about their business and controlling what they can control. It’s just another step in a rebuilding process thats been happening in Edmonton for a few years now. Having franchise cornerstones like Hall and Eberle locked up to go a long with recent 1st overall picks, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov, won’t hurt and just makes it that much easier and faster to rebuild.
UPDATE: a few hours after this article was posted the Edmonton Oilers and forward Taylor Hall agreed on a 7 year, $42 million dollar extension. Details here.
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