The Edmonton Oilers have been in the bottom three teams in the NHL for almost every season in the past decade.
This year, they've managed to escape from the duldrums. However, with rookie sensation Connor McDavid now out for a few months, the Oilers could very easily slide back into their old position in the NHL.
Luckily, Jordan Eberle returned to the Oiler's lineup on November 6. Eberle sustained a shoulder injury on September 29, when Arizona centerman Kyle Chipchura hit him awkwardly behind the net. The 25-year-old winger has been sidelined ever since.
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After five weeks of rehab and training, Eberle is finally able to return to his team at a crucial time.
With McDavid out for around half the season, Eberle and the rest of the young Oilers must find their scoring groove or risk falling to the bottom of the standings again.
The return of Eberle is a huge relief for the struggling franchise. The former twenty-second overall pick of the 2008 NHL Draft has been the Oilers' best player for nearly half a decade.
His personal best season was 2011-2012, where he scored 34 goals and had 76 points in only 78 games. His production has dipped since his best season, but he is still producing around 60 points every 82 games.
The Regina native was Edmonton's best player and their best offensive producer last season, as well. He scored 24 goals and recorded 39 assists, even with Oilers superstar Taylor Hall sidelined for part of the season.
Eberle will play alongside the surging Taylor Hall and Leon Draisaitl for the time being.
Taylor Hall started off the season very well with six goals and ten assists in 14 games. Draisaitl was called up around two weeks ago and he had an amazing start to the season as well. The German youngster amassed three goals and four assists in four games this season.
If Eberle can build some chemistry with Hall and Draisaitl, Edmonton's first line will definitely be one of the league's deadliest trios. Perhaps the loss of McDavid won't affect the Oilers as much with Eberle's return.