Prospect, prime or veteran?
69-18-25-43 (1st on Oilers, 6th among rookies)
ESP/60 1.79 (3rd among F)
CORSI REL 8.5 (2nd among F)
Is that good or bad?
For a 20 year old? Those were terrific numbers. He produced and had the puck moving in the right direction on a bad team. Frankly, he did better than I thought he would, as I saw him scoring 45ish points over 82 games, not 69. Had a hell of a year, injury aside.
Are those numbers likely to get better or worse?
Again, he's only 20, so those number are more likely than not to improve. How much, nobody knows, because he's just a rookie, we don't have a lot of baselines to go by. Still, most young players improve by some amount, and given that he's such a complimentary player for Taylor Hall, it's reasonable to predict him bettering his totals.
Aside from numbers, what does he bring to the club?
He delivered offense on a crappy club and all while he and Hall were playing the tough competition. That's gold for a kid his age. Eberle seems experienced beyond his years, and was killing penalties from early on in the season. Is very smart with his stick, and even though he's not a physical player, he still finished with almost a takeaway per game.
What's his spot in the depth chart?
Top-6 forward for sure. What will affect his minutes is the Hemsky situation. If Hemsky stays and if he's healthy, it has to impact Eberle's minutes.
Will he be a key Oiler in 2012?
Are there any wildcards with this player which can affect him and the club?
He missed 11 games, but they were the results of
a) An ankle injury which is extremely unlikely to occur again, and
b) An emergency appendectomy procedure. If you think it could be a recurring problem, you might want to go back to your junior high health class for a refresher.
Keep or scrap?
KEEP, all in capitals. I think that people have probably made more of a fuss about him, and set the bar a bit high for his career. I don't see him as an elite player (even though I'd LOVE to be wrong) and always saw him more as a Ray Whitney-type, which would be great. If all players could produce like that.
Tambellini and Lowe have to go!