This is the first installment of the Oilers over/under projections, a series that we will run from now until all the Oilers players have been covered leading up to the regular season.
Up first is forward Jordan Eberle. Why Ebs? Well, there has been plenty of talk lately about how many points Taylor Hall will produce and to change-up the conversation for a moment, I thought it’d be worth focusing on his line mate and roommate, Jordan Eberle.
For this series we’ll be using the statistical projections that Dobber has laid out in his annual fantasy hockey document. Take it for what it’s worth, but for the purpose of these posts, Dobber’s projections give us a starting point and something to articulate an over or under counter-argument around. Now then, let’s get started.
Dobber has Eberle playing in 78 of the Oilers 82 games, scoring 31 goals and adding 44 assists to finish the year with 75 points. Interestingly enough it’s worth noting that the 31 goals would have Eberle tied with Hall for the team lead.
Let’s start with the goals. Eberle, who plays the wing and is dynamite on the power play when he positions himself down low at the side of the net, a popular spot where he collects his share of tallies from. Expect that trend to continue.
It wouldn’t surprise me if Eberle went over the 31 goal projection this season. Two years ago he potted 34 goals in 78 games before last year’s total of 16 in 48 games. He would’ve been close to another 30-goal campaign last year had it not been a lockout shortened season.
Entering what will be his fourth season with the Oilers, third with Hall, Eberle is poised to surpass that projection. Having the top line together for a full and healthy season instantly breeds excitement with any Oilers fan at the thought of the three of them tearing up the ice and littering the game sheet with their numbers. Of course this is providing Dallas Eakins leaves them together should they stumble at any point in the season.
With the Oilers again threatening to have one of the more lethal power plays in the league, Hall, Eberle and Nugent-Hopkins will all play a big part in that. As mentioned, Eberle’s ability to bury his chances on the man advantage, courtesy of a cross-ice pass are impressive and that should continue this season.
With a healthy top line, look for Eberle to be over the 31-goal projection, coming in with 38 tallies; just shy of a 40-goal campaign.
Staying healthy will again be the key for Eberle, which could also lead him to break the 80-point plateau. All the talk of Hall generating a point per game has left number 14 as a bit of a dark horse for the Oilers which has to suit him just fine. Playing in 78 games is a fair projection and if he can light the lamp close to 40 times this year then he will naturally record more than the 75 points Dobber has him at.
For that reason alone I’m going to put Eberle as an over in both goals and points, finishing the year with 82 points (38 goals and 44 assists).
Agree or disagree? We welcome your comments and thoughts on if you think Eberle will be over or under these projections. Thanks for reading.