After 7 seasons, 27 year old Jordan Eberle is on his way out. He went from being a fan as a child to becoming a fan favourite as a player, but his time with the Oilers has come to an end. Eberle, the longest serving Oiler, playing 507 regular season games has been traded to the New York Islanders for 23 year old Ryan Strome who plays both centre and wing. Much of the deal has to do with the salary cap. Eberle is a 6 Million dollar hit, while Strome is only at 2.5 Million, so the Oilers shore up some cap space.
As mentioned Jordan Eberle was the longest serving Oiler, he was drafted 22nd over all in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. He scored 165 goals and 217 assists while donning the copper and blue. In what was a down year last year, Eberle still managed to score 20 goals but his playoff performance came under scrutiny. Jordan Eberle has not been the same player since a shoulder injury in late September of 2015, and needed a new start with another team. Eberle had lost some of his quickness and daring and that was evident during the playoffs where he failed to score one goal in 13 games.
The cap money saved can be used to sign a newer and larger contract for Leon Draisail, or used to sign defenseman Kris Russell to a new deal. “It was a function of a number of different things.” Oilers General Manager Peter Chiarelli said, “One, the chance to obtain a player like Ryan Strome. Two, it’s no secret we have to clear up some space to sign both Connor (McDavid) and Leon (Draisaitl). And Three there are times that these deals come about and you have to act on them, and we just felt it would improve our team.”
“You’ve got a player like Ryan who hasn’t put the numbers up like Jordan, but he’s got things to his game that we feel could help us in our division. He’s got a terrific wrist shot. I scouted him for a long time for the U-24 team. A very very cerebral player. He can play centre or the wing. He’s very good on the half wall. These are all some of these things that Jordan has, but when we can save some cap space going forward, we’re going to have to do it. That’s the reality of building a team these days. It was a good fit from a team building and cap perspective.
As for the newest Oiler, Ryan Strome was selected 5th overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft by the New York Islanders. He had a really strong rookie year but has fallen off the last two years. Strome has 45 goals and 126 points in 258 games. He also knows Connor McDavid well, as his brother Dylan played with McDavid in junior on the Erie Otters. “He’s been in my house a bunch of times” Strome says of McDavid. “Him and my brother are very close, they’ve been snap chatting about it on the way here. He reached out to me already, he’s a great kid and he’s obviously if not the best player in the league, he’s up there. Obviously it’s pretty cool the connection there, it’s always nice knowing a couple of familiar faces.” What role Strome plays with the Oilers is ye to be determined.