Edmonton Oilers forward Jordan Eberle skated on the top line at practice Thursday and will make his season debut Friday against the Pittsburgh Penguins, coach Todd McLellan said.
Eberle skated to the right of Taylor Hall and Leon Draisaitl at practice Thursday.
FANTASY SPIN BLOG
Oilers minus McDavid, plus Eberle
By Pete Jensen - NHL.com Fantasy Insider
The Edmonton Oilers
learned Wednesday that rookie center Connor McDavid
would need months to recover from surgery to repair a fractured his left clavicle. But life without McDavid doesn't necessarily mean the wheels are going to fall off their potent forward arsenal. READ MORE ›
"It feels good. I'm excited to get going," Eberle told the Oilers website. "You get a chance to sit out and watch your team play it's not too much fun. Going into the first game, just kind of get my timing under me, and getting my rhythm going. I'm playing with two guys that are really feeling it right now, so I'll just try to get them the puck and get to a place where I can score."
Eberle sustained a shoulder injury on Sept. 29 in a preseason game against the Arizona Coyotes. His return would come at a key time for the Oilers, who lost center Connor McDavid for what's expected to be several months to a fractured left clavicle Tuesday against the Philadelphia Flyers. McDavid had surgery Wednesday.
Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli referenced Eberle's impending return in a press conference Wednesday announcing McDavid's injury.
"What's important is just to move forward," Chiarelli said. "We're going to be missing him for a while and we have good players and we're getting a good player (Eberle) back. Teams suffer catastrophic injuries and teams figure it out. It's something that the team, the guys, have to step up. They will miss Connor, but he will be back. He'll be like a trade acquisition when he comes back, which will be nice, and we move on."
Eberle, the 22nd pick in the 2008 NHL Draft by the Oilers, has 120 goals and 284 points in 356 games. He had 24 goals and 63 points last season.