The Seattle Kraken have selected Jordan Eberle from the New York Islanders in the expansion draft. He was left exposed by New York as they try to shed some cap ahead of free agency; the team has a long list of pending free agents it is looking to address. Seattle saw an opportunity to add a proven veteran to a young team and is hoping Eberle’s consistent scoring abilities stay with him as he heads to the Pacific Northwest.
Eberle was a first-round selection of the Edmonton Oilers in 2008 at 22nd overall. The Oilers acquired the pick as a part of the return package they received when they sent Chris Pronger to the Anaheim Ducks in 2006. He would most likely be a top-10 selection in a redraft, but the Oilers were very pleased with the value they got in that pick as they began their rebuild. Eberle helped establish a foundation for a rebuild in Edmonton that included the team capturing the first-overall pick four times between 2010 and 2015.
After his selection by the Oilers, Eberle spent the majority of the next two seasons playing in the Western Hockey League (WHL) for the Regina Pats. He played a handful of games in the American Hockey League (AHL) for the Springfield Falcons as well, but the majority of his playing time was in the WHL. He appeared in 254 games for the Pats over his four total seasons with the team, scoring 155 goals and 310 points over his WHL career. He only appeared in 20 AHL games before sticking with the Oilers full-time, recording nine goals and 23 points with the Falcons over those two seasons.
Eberle spent seven seasons in Edmonton, serving as an alternate captain during the rebuilding years. He played over 500 games in an Oilers uniform, scoring at least 20 goals in five different seasons including 34 goals in his second season. He was traded to the Islanders in the offseason before 2017-18 and has spent the last four seasons on Long Island.
In his first season with the Isles, Eberle scored 25 goals and accumulated 59 points, but shortened seasons limited his production over the coming years. If the past two seasons were full 82-game campaigns, he would have been on pace to produce between 50 and 55 points in each. He may no longer be a 30-goal scorer, but Eberle’s consistent point production bodes well for his outlook in Seattle.
Eberle is in the midst of a five-year, $27.5 million contract extension he signed with the Islanders in 2019. He has three more years left on his deal with a cap hit of $5.5 million annually. The contract also has a modified no-trade clause, whereby Eberle can submit a 16-team no-trade list beginning next season. He can hit the open market after the 2023-24 season, something he hasn’t done to this point in his 11-year NHL career.
Value to Seattle
Having already served as a veteran presence on a rebuilding Oilers team, Eberle made a lot of sense for the Kraken. The Islanders were trying to unload cap to have space to re-sign their pending free agents, while Seattle is looking to ensure they reach the cap floor. Eberle should be able to assume a top-six role at even strength, and figures to have a sizeable role on the power-play as well. He will be relied on as a leader, especially given the deep playoff runs the Islanders have had over the last two seasons.
The Kraken selected Eberle over the following other exposed players:
- Josh Bailey
- Kieffer Bellows
- Otto Koivula
- Richard Panik
- Thomas Hickey
Lifelong hockey fan turned writer and Zamboni driver. MBA Sports Management Candidate at Hofstra University. Former Marketing Intern with American Flag Football League & Brooklyn/Long Island Nets.