Jordan Eberle was the Seattle Kraken’s selection from the roster of the New York Islanders in this summer’s Expansion Draft. The 22nd overall pick in the 2008 National Hockey League Entry Draft has a knack for finding the net, is relatively durable, and brings more than a decade of NHL experience to his new team. A consistent scorer, the Regina, Saskatchewan native has averaged 25 goals per 82-game season over his thirteen year career, setting his personal high (34) back in 2011-12.
On the personal side of things, Jordan married his longtime girlfriend, Lauren Rodych, in 2017, and welcomed a baby girl, Collins Eberle, into his family in March of 2020. A community-minded player, his past charitable efforts include work with the Hockey Alberta Foundation and Habitat for Humanity in Southern Alberta during his time as an Oiler, and a role with Hockey Canada’s #EndBullying initiative. The Kraken are already setting a new standard for helping the community, and Eberle should be able to help.
Eberle was originally selected by the Edmonton Oilers, but became a household name in Canada before ever playing in a NHL game. Alongside future first overall selection John Tavares, Eberle was a part of one of the great comebacks in the history of the IIHF’s World Junior tournament. His late-game, tying goal, sent the semi-final match against Russia to overtime, where Canada captured the sudden death victory, and eventually a gold medal.
His reputation as a slick puck mover and clutch performer followed him through his Western Hockey League career, with the Regina Pats, where he was named a league all-star, on top of receiving the WHL’s award for Scholastic Player of the Year. All these achievements certainly suggested Eberle, or “Ebs” as his teammates call him, would find success at the NHL level, and his first goal, in his first game in Edmonton, showed that to be true.
While he has at times been a slow starter, the goals always seem to come, and over the past two playoff seasons he’s shown himself to be a reliable post-season scorer as well. His career advanced statistics are overwhelmingly positive as well, showing that in addition to creating offence, the right winger doesn’t sacrifice position or advantage in his own zone to do so.
At 31 years of age, a 30-plus goal season in a Kraken sweater is unlikely, but not out of the realm of possibility. Any expansion team needs to score by committee, and Eberle will do his part to carry the load. Matched with talented players like Yanni Gourde, Jared McCann and Jaden Schwartz, each picked off the roster of another of the 29 other NHL clubs, Eberle was a great selection and he has a once in a career opportunity to lift a brand new franchise off the ground.