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BLOG: Eberle matured in Edmonton

After 507 NHL games and seven seasons with the Oilers, Jordan Eberle leaves the organization a mature player and person

by Paul Gazzola /

Jordan Eberle has spent his entire National Hockey League career with the Edmonton Oilers. 

That's 507 NHL games, 382 points, 217 assists and 165 goals. 

Seven seasons with the team and seven years with the city. 

No doubt, the Oilers 22nd-overall pick in the 2008 NHL Draft matured in front of Edmonton's very eyes. Personally, and as a hockey player.

"You don't really know what to expect coming into the NHL and I've definitely grown a lot," said Eberle via conference call. "In that city, they've given me a lot. They love hockey there. They treat their hockey players very well. 

"As a person, I've definitely grown."

On the ice, the right winger was typified as an offensive catalyst. Season by season, Oilers fans would routinely watch the Regina, SK, product score beautiful goals, big goals, timely goals and typically manufacture offence.

But in the past two campaigns under the new management, Eberle's game evolved.

"As a player, I like to think that especially last year, the coaches have done a good job of moulding my game into a two-dimensional game," he said. "I've gotten better defensively and in the playoffs, we played a very defensive role on that line. 

"In that aspect, I like to think I've grown in two ways."

While he's excited for the new opportunity and for a chance to flank John Tavares on the New York Islanders' top line - in an Eastern Conference that generally favours skilled and shifty players - Eberle still values the team he grew up cheering and playing for.

"Growing up, I always was an Oilers fan," the 27-year-old said. "You play there for so long like I did for seven years, you gain a lot of relationships in the dressing room and off. 

"That aspect will definitely be tough but I think moving forward this will be a new chapter and it will be great to get a new, fresh start on a new team."

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