On Thursday, the Oilers inked the forward to a six-year, 36 million dollar extension, keeping him under contract through the 2018-
2019 season. In 78 games last year, he scored 34 goals and 42 assists, while leading the Oilers in points and goals, and finishing second on the team in +/- (4) and power play points (20).
This extension comes just a week after Edmonton extended 2010 first overall pick Taylor Hall to a seven-year, 42 million dollar extension. These moves clearly signify the intention of the Oilers to retain the explosive young offensive talent. Eberle commented:
“Obviously me and Taylor want to be a part of this team for a while,” Eberle said. “That’s why we signed this way. I think it signifies the young core of the group wanted to be here.”
To be sure, the scoring line of Eberle, Hall and Ales Hemsky, along with fellow young forwards Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Ryan Smyth, the Oilers will definitely be a team to be reckoned with if they can continue to develop. The offense should be extremely explosive, and if they can find some serviceable veteran defenseman and a solid goaltender, Edmonton could be ready for a playoff run within the next few years.
“We see the direction the team is going and that’s in a forward direction. I think this year is definitely going to be a big year for us as far as developing our name as a team. Our success in the past couple of years hasn’t been nearly where we want it to be and next year is going to be a huge stepping stone for us.”