Jordan Eberle (born May 15, 1990) is a Canadian professional ice hockey right winger currently playing for the Edmonton Oilers of the National Hockey League (NHL). He was selected in the first round, 22nd overall, in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.
During his four-year Western Hockey League (WHL) career with the Regina Pats, he won the CHL Player of the Year Award in 2010, the Doc Seaman Trophy as the scholastic player of the year in 2008 and was a two-time First Team East All-Star in 2008 and 2010.
Internationally, he has competed for Canada in two World Junior Championships, winning gold and silver in 2009 and 2010, respectively. He was named Tournament MVP and Best Forward at the 2010 World Junior Championships and is Canada’s second all-time leading scorer at the tournament with 26 points, 5 behind Eric Lindros.
Eberle played novice with Hockey Regina’s tier-1 Kings and amassed 216 goals over sixty games in 1999–00. He went on to play Bantam AAA for the Athol Murray College of Notre Dame in Wilcox, Saskatchewan, as a fourteen-year-old. After being selected by his hometown major junior team, the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League (WHL), in the seventh round, 126th overall, of the 2005 WHL Bantam Draft, Eberle joined the midget ranks with the Calgary Buffaloes of the Alberta Midget Hockey League (AMHL). He won a bronze medal with the Buffaloes at the 2006 Mac’s Midget Hockey Tournament, scoring two goals in the bronze medal game against the Prince Albert Mintos. He helped his team qualify for the 2006 Telus Cup national midget championship, where the Buffaloes lost a 5–4 triple overtime game in the final against the Mintos. Eberle scored a goal in the losing effort and was awarded the Most Sportsmanlike Award for the tournament.
Eberle debuted with the Pats in 2006–07, scoring 55 points and a team-high 28 goals as a rookie. He added two goals and seven points in six games against the Swift Current Broncos in the opening round of the 2007 WHL playoffs, but was sidelined for the entirety of the second round against the Medicine Hat Tigers with a virus. Eberle started his second major junior season by earning WHL Player of the Month honours for October 2007, totaling sixteen goals and 26 points over sixteen games for the Pats. He had missed two games early in the season with tonsillitis, before scoring a hat trick in his return on October 6, 2007, against the Moose Jaw Warriors. Eberle later represented Team WHL against Russia in the 2007 ADT Canada-Russia Challenge in late-November. Midway through the season, he was chosen to compete in the 2008 CHL Top Prospects Game in Edmonton.
Eberle finished 2007–08 with a team-high 42 goals and 75 points. His 42 goals accounted for one-fifth of his team’s scoring and marked the first time a Pats player hit the forty-goal mark since Matt Hubbauer scored 48 in 2001–02. It also tied for fourth in league scoring with Drayson Bowman of the Spokane Chiefs. He was selected to the WHL East First All-Star Team and received the Doc Seaman Trophy as WHL scholastic player of the year (beating out defenceman Jared Cowen of the Spokane Chiefs).
Eberle had started the 2007–08 season ranked seventh among WHL skaters in the NHL Central Scouting Bureau‘s preliminary rankings for the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. At mid-season, he was ranked 24th among North American skaters, then dropped to 33rd in the NHL CSS’s final rankings. Director of NHL Central Scouting, E. J. McGuire, described Eberle as a scorer whose strengths are his skating and stickhandling. He was selected in the first round, 22nd overall, by the Edmonton Oilers. Having grown up in Regina, Eberle was a childhood fan of the Oilers, even after his family moved to Calgary at fourteen-years-old. After being selected, he commented in an interview, “If I had to pick one pick, [the Oilers] would have been it.”
Eberle competed in his second ADT Canada-Russia Challenge for Team WHL in 2008. After completing the 2008–09 WHL season with a team-leading 74 points in 61 games, Eberle was signed to a three-year, entry-level contract by the Oilers on March 23, 2009.
Competing for a roster spot with the Oilers in the 2009 training camp, Eberle was one of the final cuts. He was returned to the Pats on September 27, 2009, and reeled off 25 points in twelve games to be named WHL Player of the Month for September and October. He was named to Team WHL for the 2009 Subway Super Series (renamed from the ADT Canada-Russia Challenge) and was selected as an alternate captain to Pats teammate Colten Teubert for Game 5. Eberle finished the 2009–10 WHL season second in league scoring with 106 points in 57 games (one point behind Brandon Kozun of the Calgary Hitmen in eight fewer games) and was a unanimous selection to his second WHL East First All-Star Team in three years. He was the first member of the Pats to score fifty goals and record 100 points since Ronald Petrovicky during the 1997–98 season. Eberle finished his career with the Pats seventh all-time in franchise goal scoring with 155 and twelfth in points with 310. Eberle was named the Regina Pats Player of the Year, Most Sportsmanlike Player and the Most Popular player after the 2009–10 season. Despite the Pats disappointing season as a team, Eberle was selected as the winner of the Four Broncos Memorial Trophy as WHL Player of the Year, defeating Western Conference nominee Craig Cunningham of the Vancouver Giants. He was later named CHL Player of the Year, beating out the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) nominees Tyler Seguin and Mike Hoffman, respectively. It marked the third time a Pats player won the award, after Ed Staniowski in 1975 and Doug Wickenheiser in 1980.
Soon after signing a professional contract with the Oilers in 2009, he was assigned to the teams’ minor league affiliate, the Springfield Falcons of the American Hockey League (AHL) for the remainder of the 2008–09 AHL season. He scored his first professional goal in his third game with the Falcons, a 4–3 loss to the Portland Pirates on March 29, 2009. He went on to tally three goals and nine points in nine games. Eberle was again assigned to the Falcons after finishing the 2009–10 season with the Pats. He notched six goals and fourteen points in the Falcons last eleven games of the regular season.
Eberle made his NHL debut with the Oilers on October 7, 2010, against the Calgary Flames. He recorded his first goal, on the penalty kill in the third period, deking past defenceman Ian White on a two-on-one before scoring on a backhand deke past goaltender Miika Kiprusoff. The goal was later voted by fans as the NHL’s Goal of the Year on the league’s Facebook page, as well as Play of the Year on The Sports Network‘s website. He later added an assist on the powerplay, taking a shot that deflected off teammate Shawn Horcoff‘s shinpads. The Oilers went on to win the game 4–0. Eberle was named the first star of the game. Later in the season, Eberle suffered a high ankle sprain after colliding with opposing forward Ales Kotalik during a game against the Flames on January 1, 2011. While sidelined with the injury, he underwent an unrelated emergency appendectomy four days later. Missing 13 games with his ankle injury, he returned to action in early-February. During a game against the Vancouver Canucks late in the season, on April 5, Eberle received a hit to the head from opposing forward Raffi Torres. While Eberle was not injured on the play, Torres received a four-game suspension for the hit. He finished the season with 43 points (18 goals and 25 assists) in 69 games, leading his team in scoring and ranking sixth among league rookies. Though the Oilers finished with the worst record in the NHL for the second straight year, expectations remained high in Edmonton for the future of the team, as Eberle’s success as a rookie was matched by the performance of fellow first-year forwards Taylor Hall and Magnus Paajarvi (both of whom were also former first-round draft picks).
During his second NHL season, Eberle sustained a sprained knee after colliding with Dallas Stars forward Jamie Benn during a game on January 7, 2012. At the time of the injury, Eberle was enjoying a productive campaign and was six points behind the league’s scoring leader. Despite his success, he was left off the 2012 NHL All-Star Game roster, which was selected while he was sidelined.[notes 1] Several members within the Oilers organization were outspoken regarding the omission, including captain Shawn Horcoff and head coach Tom Renney, to which the league replied that Eberle would have been selected had he not been injured. By January 19, Eberle returned to the Oilers lineup after missing four games. Five days later, he was nonetheless named as an All-Star replacement for the injured Mikko Koivu. Eberle was selected to Team Chara as part of the All-Star Draft and went on to record an assist in the squad’s win against Team Alfredsson.
Eberle recorded his 100th career point on February 22, 2012 recording a goal and 2 assists in a 6-1 victory over the Flames.
Eberle during the 2010 World Junior Championships
|Competitor for Canada|
|World Junior Championships|
|IIHF World U18 Championships|
|Competitor for Alberta|
|Canada Winter Games|
Eberle represented Alberta at the 2007 Canada Games in Whitehorse, Yukon. He notched two goals and an assist in the bronze medal game against British Columbia in Alberta’s 4–3 win. He finished the tournament with six goals and five assists in five games played to place eighth in tournament scoring. Several months later, Eberle played for Team Canada’s under-18 team at the 2007 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, but failed to register a point as Canada was kept from a medal. He continued with the national under-18 team the following year at the 2008 IIHF World U18 Championships in Russia. He began the tournament by earning player of the game honours with a two-goal effort in the first round-robin game against Germany—a 9–2 win for Canada. He later notched two goals and an assist in an 8–0 gold medal game win to help Canada to their first tournament championship in five years. Eberle finished the tournament with ten points in seven games, second in team scoring to Cody Hodgson.
In his third WHL season, Eberle was selected to the Team Canada’s under-20 team for the 2009 World Junior Championships in Ottawa. In the semi-finals, on January 3, 2009, Eberle was named player of the game after scoring two goals and the shootout-winner against Russia in a 6–5 win. Eberle dramatically scored his second goal of the night with just 5.4 seconds left in regulation to force extra time and the eventual shootout, in which he shot first and scored. Defeating Sweden 5–1 in the final, Eberle helped Canada to a record-tying fifth straight gold medal and was named by the coaching staff as one of the team’s best three players. At the conclusion of the tournament, Eberle was third in tournament scoring with thirteen points (six goals, seven assists).
The following year, Eberle was named to his second national junior team for the 2010 World Junior Championships in his hometown Regina, Saskatchewan. He was selected as an alternate captain to Patrice Cormier along with fellow returnees Colten Teubert, Alex Pietrangelo and Stefan Della Rovere. He was named player of the game against Switzerland in the second game of the round-robin—a 6–0 win—with a five-point game (one goal, four assists). Two games later, he notched two goals in regulation (one of which began a two-goal comeback late in the third period) and one in the shootout against the United States in the final game of the round-robin to earn his second player of the game honour of the tournament. Canada later met the United States again in the gold medal game. Down 5–3 with three minutes to go in regulation, Eberle scored twice to force overtime. His tying goal with 1:35 left made him Canada’s all-time leading goal scorer in the tournament with fourteen, passing John Tavares‘ mark set the previous year. Canada eventually lost in overtime, earning silver and ending their five-year gold medal streak.
At the conclusion of the tournament, Eberle finished tied for the tournament lead in goals with André Petersson of Sweden and was second in points to Derek Stepan of the United States. He was voted as the Most Valuable Player and Top Forward. He was also named to the tournament All-Star Team by the media and named one of Canada’s top three players by the coaches. Three days after the gold medal game, Regina mayor Pat Fiacco proclaimed January 8, 2010 as “Jordan Eberle and Colten Teubert Day” in the city for their efforts in the tournament.
On April 16, 2010, Eberle was named to Team Canada as an alternate for the 2010 IIHF World Championship in Germany. After injuries to Ryan Smyth and Steve Stamkos in the preliminary round, he debuted with Canada’s men’s team on May 14, 2010, versus Norway. Eberle scored a goal and assisted on three others to earn the Player of the Game Award in a 12–1 Team Canada victory. He played in three more games without any points as Canada finished in seventh place with a loss to Russia in the quarterfinal.
Following his NHL rookie season, Eberle joined the Canadian men’s team for the second consecutive year for the 2011 IIHF World Championship in Slovakia. During the preliminary round, Eberle scored a goal in a contest against Switzerland to be named player of the game. In a game against the United States during the qualifying round, Eberle scored in a shootout, helping Canada to a 4–3 win, while also temporarily tying them for the lead in their pool. Canada went on to top their pool, but lost 2–1 in the quarterfinal against Russia for the second consecutive year. Scoring four times over seven tournament games (no assists), Eberle tied for second in team goal-scoring, behind John Tavares.
Eberle was born to Darren and Lisa Eberle in Regina, Saskatchewan. His dad coached him on his minor hockey teams growing up. He has two sisters, Ashley and Whitney, and a younger brother, Dustin. He attended high school at the Athol Murray College of Notre Dame in Wilcox, Saskatchewan, before moving to Calgary, Alberta at fourteen-years-old with his parents and three siblings. He returned to Regina to play junior hockey for the Regina Pats and attended Archbishop M.C. O’Neill High School during the hockey season. He went on to graduate from Bishop O’Byrne High School in Calgary in June 2008.
Eberle has a cousin, Derek Eberle, who also played junior for the Pats from 1990 to 1993. His brother, Dustin, was drafted by the Pats in the 12th round (248th overall) of the 2007 WHL Bantam Draft.