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Oilers' Eberle brushes off trade rumors, hopes to stay

by Sean Farrell

MONTREAL -- Right wing Jordan Eberle feels right at home with the Edmonton Oilers, and that's where he hopes to remain after the 2015 NHL Trade Deadline on March 2.

Eberle has 15 goals and 36 points in 54 games in his fifth season with Edmonton, which selected him in the first round (No. 22) of the 2008 NHL Draft.

He said hearing his name in trade rumors is part of the game.

"You know, any time your team's in the position we are, we have been for the last few years, names come up," Eberle said Thursday after the Oilers morning skate at Bell Centre. "That's the obvious thing, so you've got to put that aside. A lot of the times you have to try and use it as a compliment, you know, other teams want you. And that being said, I want to be an Oiler, and I want to play here and I want to turn this thing around."

An Oilers fan growing up in Regina, Saskatchewan, he retained his loyalty even after his family moved to Calgary when he was 14.

Eberle scored a highlight-reel goal in his first game in Edmonton in 2010-11 and had 43 points as a rookie. He followed that up with 34 goals and 42 assists for 76 points, all career highs, the next season.

The 24-year-old has 111 goals and 257 points in 329 games with the Oilers, but has yet to play a game in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

With the Oilers out of contention for a playoff berth again, Eberle remains hopeful the long rebuild in Edmonton will soon translate into wins on the ice. And he wants to be a part of it.

"Yeah, absolutely," Eberle said. "I love playing there and it's close to my hometown and I have a lot of family and friends there and gained a lot of relationships there and I love playing for this organization, and I'm sure the same goes for a lot of people."

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