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The Progress Report: Eberle Rising

by Travis Knee / Edmonton Oilers
A convincing 4-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild Thursday night was just what the doctor ordered heading into the Christmas break. The Oilers desperately in search of a win snapped a four-game losing skid to inch a little closer to .500 on the season.

The Oilers came out with tons of energy against a team that they have not had much success against at Rexall lately. The combination of strong goaltending and scoring from their top players reminded many of the recipe that had the Oilers start the season so strong.

Although getting a complete effort for the win is something Oiler fans can be thankful for heading into the holiday, another more consistent trend should have fans even more excited. 

The play of Jordan Eberle has been nothing short of spectacular this season. He has taken his game to another level and has been the team’s most consistent player in the process. His ability to attack defences in a variety of different ways has made Eberle a threat to score every time he’s on the ice.
Eberle has created a reputation of being clutch in big games.

Now, Eberle’s talent comes as no surprise to most around this country. Jordan’s heroics as a junior on the international stage are the stuff of legends. His game-tying goal against Russia in the 2009 World Junior Championships made Eberle a household name and forever endeared him to Canadian hockey fans everywhere.

As we get set to host this year’s World Junior Championships right here in Alberta, it’s worth looking at how Eberle has adapted his game to the NHL level. With each game Eberle plays he grows more and more confident and his overall game benefits from it.

“Jordan is an exceptional talent,” said head coach Tom Renney. “He wants the puck at all times and that’s what you want to see out of a young player like that.”

Eberle is currently the team leader in almost every offensive category. His 36 points in 34 games are a team best, as are his 15 goals. He is also tied with linemate Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for the team lead in assists with 21.

It is this type of balance that makes Jordan such a dangerous player. He is capable of hurting a team with his slick goal scoring ability or by setting up a teammate with his creative playmaking skills.

“Playing with such exceptional players is a big reason for the success I’m enjoying this season,” explained Eberle.

Eberle currently sits tied for 13th overall in league scoring. He is looking like a legitimate threat to finish as a top ten scorer and put his name into the same category as other elite players such as Jonathan Towes and Steven Stamkos.
Eberle is enjoying a breakout second season in the NHL

Eberle is currently on pace to far exceed the 18 goals and 43 points he put up last year in his rookie season. If Eberle can continue at this pace he will score between 35-40 goals and 85-90 points. A pretty amazing year for any player in this league nevermind a player in just his second year.

“I just try to focus on playing my best each night, hopefully the rest just falls into place.”

All this of course is pretty high praise for the young Oiler. There is no doubt still some growing pains to come for Jordan Eberle. As the league takes note of his performance he will have to continue to find a way to fight through the added attention.

All things considered though, Eberle has always shown an ability to rise to the occasion. If the past and present of Eberle’s career are any indication, he is well on his way to becoming a superstar in this league.

Author: Travis Knee |

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