"This is Jordan Eberle of the New York Islanders…"
Admittedly, those words are still a little strange to say for Eberle at the NHL Player Media Tour on Wednesday, but the more he hears it, the more he likes the sound of it.
"It does feel a little bit weird, but it's exciting," Eberle said on Wednesday. "When you first get traded, it's a little bit of a shock, but as I was thinking about it, I was just getting more and more excited. It's a great organization, a great team I know a lot of the guys there and I'm happy to be a part of it."
Eberle was acquired from the Edmonton Oilers on June 22nd the place he spent the first seven seasons of his career and the only team he'd ever known. The two-time all-star said it's a shock and a bit of process, but he and his wife have found a new home on Long Island and he's embracing the change.
"I don't think I've been this excited in an offseason in a long time," Eberle said. "Basically just the change and the excitement level around that. I think change is good. I think it puts you out of your comfort zone a bit and makes you train a bit harder. I'm excited and getting ready for camp."
This week has been a full immersion for Eberle, who landed on Long Island on Sunday and took part in an informal skate on Tuesday before hitting the media tour on Wednesday. The 27-year-old was the Islanders' representative at the media tour in Manhattan posing for promotional pictures, taping interviews with NHL Network and doing a media tour with outlets like ESPN, Sportsnet and the Associated Press.
If that all seems a bit overwhelming, Eberle's familiarity with the Islanders is making the transition easier. His friendship and chemistry with John Tavares is well-documented, but Eberle's also played with Andrew Ladd and Cal Clutterbuck at the World Championships and Calvin de Haan and Thomas Hickey at the World Juniors. He's also trained with Hickey for approximately 14 years (though ironically the first summer they're teammates, Hickey trained on Long Island instead of Calgary) so he's got a handful of Islanders connections.
On top of that, Eberle, who scored 51 points last season for the Oilers, will get a chance to play with Tavares on the Islanders' top line when camp opens on September 14, an opportunity most players would jump at.
"He's a tremendous player, he moves the puck well, sees the ice well and he's an easy guy to play with," Eberle said. "I'm going to a team that wants me and a team that I'll have a really good opportunity with."
So it may still sound strange to say today, but Eberle is excited for and embracing his new life as an Islander.