Born May 15, 1990 (age 21) in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Right winger for the Edmonton Oilers
If you talk about Taylor Hall, you pretty much have to talk about his liney Jordan Eberle. Eberle began his career playing in his hometown of Regina, starting in 1999-2000 and being coached by his dad on some of his minor teams. His first taste of the playoffs came with the midget-level Calgary Buffaloes (his family moved to Calgary when he was 14) in 2006 just before he joined hometown WHL team the Regina Pats. When he became a Pat, he sparkled in his rookie year, scoring a team-high 28 goals. The Pats even went to the playoffs and he played the first round, but he got sick and had to miss the entirety of the second. Poor guy! He came back and got a hat trick in October 2007, helping build up his team-leading 42 goals and 75 points. Though his Central Scouting rankings dropped a bit from preliminary through to final, it didn’t matter; the Oilers picked him 22nd overall in 2008 and he was pleased to join a team he’d liked as a kid. He didn’t get on with Edmonton immediately, choosing to stay with Regina one more year and amass 74 points before signing a three-year entry-level deal with the Oilers. He did a stint with the Springfield Falcons right after signing but was returned to Regina for 2009-10, where he scored 106 points (including 50 goals). The Falcons enjoyed his services again after Regina’s season ended.
Eberle made his big-league debut in October 2010 during a game against Calgary. He scored his first goal during that game, a goal so good it was voted goal of the year on the NHL Facebook page. During that same game, he also got an assist, Edmonton shut out Calgary 4-0 and Eberle was named first star. An auspicious debut. Later in the season, he had a sprained ankle and then needed an emergency appendectomy while out nursing the ankle. Sheesh! He returned to the ice in February. A hit to the head from Raffi Torres in April meant a four-game suspension for Torres, though Eberle was okay. At the end of the season, he led the Oilers in scoring (18 goals, 25 assists, 22 penalty minutes, 69 games). Edmonton fans remain hopeful about his prowess and potential, especially now that he’s matched with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Taylor Hall. He’s also a reliable asset to Team Canada: 2008 World U18s (gold), World Juniors 2009 (gold) and 2010 (silver), 2010 Worlds (7th place, but Eberle earned Player of the Game for his work in a 12-1 routing of Norway), 2010 Worlds (again no medal but Eberle was clutch in some of the games). He’ll continue to be a big part of Edmonton’s rebuilding and rejuvenating.