BROOKLYN (June 22, 2017) – The New York Islanders have acquired forward Jordan Eberle from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for forward Ryan Strome.
Eberle, 27, scored 51 points (20 goals, 31 assists) in 82 games last season with Edmonton, marking his fourth-straight season with at least 20 goals. In 507 career NHL games with the Oilers, the Regina, SK, native has scored 382 points (165 goals and 217 assists).
“We’re excited to add a proven offensive weapon like Jordan to our lineup,” Islanders President and General Manager Garth Snow said. “He brings speed and a knack for scoring not only consistently, but scoring big goals, in big games. Jordan brings leadership and experience into our room, qualities that will continue to help us build towards our goals of being a consistent playoff contendor and winning the Stanley Cup.”
The Oilers selected Eberle in the first round (22nd overall) of the 2008 National Hockey League Draft. He made his NHL debut in 2010-11 and has been an alternate captain with Edmonton since 2012-13. Eberle scored a career-high 34 goals and 76 points in 2011-12 and was selected to play in the NHL All-Star Game in 2010-11 and 2011-12.
On the international stage, Eberle has represented Canada at five World Championships, winning gold in his most recent tournament in 2015. He also skated with Team Canada at two World Junior Championships, winning gold in 2009 along side John Tavares and Thomas Hickey. Eberle scored one of the biggest goals in the tournament’s history, tying the semi-final game against Russia with five seconds remaining. Eberle and Tavares both scored in the shootout to send Canada to the gold medal game where they defeated Team Sweden. Eberle also played for Team Canada in 2010, earning a silver medal and taking home tournament MVP honors.
Strome, 23, scored 30 points (13 goals, 17 assists) in 69 games with the Islanders last season. A native of Mississauga, ON, Strome has 126 points (45 goals, 81 assists) in 258 career games. The Islanders selected Strome in the first round (fifth overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft.
(Courtesy of the New York Islanders)
“Excited,” Eberle said, when asked how it felt to be traded to the Islanders. “The Islanders are a storied franchise with a history of winning.” Indeed, the New York Islanders won four Stanley Cups in a row before giving the throne up to the Edmonton Oilers. Isles are the last team to win more than two cups in a row, a testament to how difficult it is to win in the NHL.
Recently however, the Islanders only have one playoff series win in 24 years. Eberle helped lead the Oilers to their first playoff berth in a decade where he says the experience of being there will help him going forward in knowing what to expect as the Islanders look to get back to being true playoff contenders. He would have liked to produce more, contribute more to the team’s success, but knows the experience will carry him forward.
Eberle is familiar with some of the Islanders already, so the transition from Edmonton to New York is that much easier. He has played with Tavares at the World Juniors and the World Championships, as well as being acquainted with Thomas Hickey and Travis Hamonic. Aside from the individual players. Eberle admitted that the Islanders were a tough team to play against down the stretch after Doug Weight took over behind the bench. He’s excited for a fresh new start and a new chapter in his career as he molds into the identity of New York.
Part of that identity is the elite intelligence of John Tavares, which Eberle explains is what makes Tavares a generational player. With Tavares’ hockey IQ and Eberle’s leadership and ability to score, the top line for the Isles will surely be a nightmare for opponents to match up against. While Eberle grew up an Oilers fan and started his career in Edmonton, he has become much better defensively since his rookie season, learning the importance of a 200-foot game, not just in the offensive zone.
As for Ryan Strome, he will find his way in Edmonton, no doubt. Strome hit the 50-point mark in the 2014-15 season, but has yet to surpass 30 since. Connor McDavid is, so far, the top generational player to enter the NHL in the last couple of years. There is no guarantee Strome slots into the top line in Edmonton, but Strome will certainly benefit by playing with an elite-caliber play such as McDavid. At the very least, the experience with practicing with Tavares and now with McDavid will give Strome a new perspective on the game.
It might have been a “whirlwind” of a day for Eberle after learning of the trade. But, being in New York and playing in front of one of the most tight-knit groups of fans league-wide, he hasn’t seen anything yet. Welcome to New York, Jordan!