Islanders Need Jordan Eberle to Find Scoring Touch in 2021
By Matt O'Leary
After back to back seasons with under 20 goals, the Islanders need Jordan Eberle to bounce back in the goal column in 2021.
One of Garth Snow’s wisest moves as Islanders GM was trading an underachieving Ryan Strome for Jordan Eberle straight up. In his first season with the Islanders, Eberle put up 59 points and 25 goals to go along with it.
By the end of 2017-2018, the Beauvllier – Barzal – Eberle line was in stride and putting up monster numbers as the Isles second line. Unfortunately, that momentum didn’t carry over into the following season.
In 78 games, Jordan Eberle had just 19 goals on the season and six of them came in the final 10 games. For 68 games, Eberle had just 13 goals to his name a massive step back from his first year.
Last season, this time playing in just 58 games, Eberle put up 16 goals, combine that with his playoff performance of five goals in 22 games, that’s a total of 21 in 80 games in the entirety of the 2019-2020 season.
Unfortunately, 19 or 21 goals isn’t going to cut it for Eberle who has four years remaining with a $5.5 million cap hit. He is someone who should be right at 25 goals a season, especially at 30 years old he’s still considered in his prime.
During his time with Edmonton, Eberle was averaging 176 shots a season and scoring on 13.4 percent of his shots. Over three years on the Island, Eberle’s averaging 160 shots a season and shooting at just 12.5 percent.
The benefit that Jordan Eberle has is playing on the wing of Mat Barzal. Barzal is very clearly the Islanders’ best offensive player so if he is going to get back on track, sticking alongside Barzy would make the most sense.
Twice since joining the Islanders, he’s had a High Danger Chances For Percentage of 55 or higher (he never eclipsed 53.4 percent in Edmonton) which means he’s getting a good number of chances, he just has to start burying some of those chances, as we see indicated by the lower shooting percentage.
A bounce-back 2021 for Jordan Eberle could be exactly what this team needs to supplement their flaws on offense.