Checking in on Jordan Eberle

The 2016/17 season has been a challenge for the 26-year old winger. Because of his cap hit and the fact that he played with McDavid early on in the season, and continues to play a top-six role, expectations are high. Unfortunately, Eberle’s goal and point production has been lower this season compared to his past season’s, which has drawn plenty of attention as the Oilers are desperate for secondary scoring.

Data: Corsica Hockey

While his 1.60 points per hour is lower than his career norms, it’s a slight improvement compared to where he was in late December after 37 games. At that point, Eberle had only 12 even-strength points, a rate of 1.40 points per 60, with only six of those points being primary (i.e., goals and primary assists).

When I dug into his numbers in late December, I had found that Eberle’s individual rate of shots per hour and his individual expected goals, which gives a weighting to each unblocked shot based on the type and distance, were in line with his past numbers. The Oilers were also a better team when it came to their share of total shot attempts (Corsi For%) and scoring chances when Eberle was on the ice. The main issue for Eberle at the time was that his individual shooting percentage was 4.55%, well below the 12%-13% shooting percentage he had posted in the past three seasons. Knowing that player’s tend to regress towards their career averages over time, my thought was that Eberle’s shooting percentage would improve over the rest of the season, and the points would (hopefully) start to pile up.

Fast forward to today, and it looks like things are getting back to normal for Eberle. Below is a table that breaks out Eberle’s season into two periods: games prior to December 30, 2016, and games from December 31, 2016 onwards.

Before December 30, 2016 Since December 31, 2016
Games 37 28
TOI/Game 13.89 13.69
G/A/P 3-9-12 6-6-12
Points/60 1.40 1.88
Corsi For% (Rel) 53.07 (+2.57) 51.26 (+2.71)
xGoals For% (Rel) 51.51 (+3.23) 49.91 (+0.35)
Goals For% (Rel) 47.22 (-6.46) 62.96 (+10.33)
Individual Shots For/60 7.70 7.99
Individual xGoals/60 0.74 0.90
Individual Shooting% 4.55 11.76
On-ice Shooting% 6.05 8.54
On-ice Save% 92.91 94.29
PDO 98.96 102.83

Full article is at The Copper & Blue.


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