Is Jordan Eberle Seattle’s ‘It’ Factor?

Jordan Eberle skating for the Seattle Kraken
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Jordan Eberle is coming off a two-goal, three-point game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday, January 28. With the Kraken hoping to make the playoffs this year, they need to do something to have their players buy in now. Currently, they’re in fifth place in the Atlantic Division and two points out of the second wildcard spot, is Seattle relying on the aging Jordan Eberle too much?

The 33-year-old forward from Regina, Saskatchewan has been one of Seattle’s top forwards since being brought in via the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft. Eberle, selected 22nd overall in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft by the Edmonton Oilers, has been a driving force for the Kraken throughout the 2023-24 season.

Photo by Christopher Mast/NHLI via Getty Images
Photo by Christopher Mast/NHLI via Getty Images

Eberle has meshed well with other players on his team, the reunion with linemate Jared McCann and pairing with newcomer Tomas Tatar seems to be working well. Eberle recorded his three-point first period with the help of McCann and Tatar to edge the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Related Article: Eberle Or Perron: Who Would Edmonton Take Back?

What Makes A Player A Difference Maker?

Calling someone on any team an ‘it factor’ is within itself a strong statement to be made. Jordan Eberle fits the bill not only from last night’s performance against the Blue Jackets but for this season and last season’s performances.

The Kraken forward has worked his way into a scoring groove. He’s made his mark and seems to have found his footing with a team finally. The only question is, what makes Jordan Eberle the difference maker for Seattle?

It’s a fair question and assessment to be made. Eberle has certainly changed the course of games and turned the tide in favor of the Seattle Kraken. Each team in the NHL has a difference maker, or they have difference makers. The determination, leadership, teamwork, and excellence at doing what one player does has to be unmatched. Additionally, in a case where a team has multiple players who can turn the tide of the game, like the Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Colorado Avalanche, for example, it needs to be matched to the same degree for each player.

Regular Season vs. Playoff Difference Makers

This is by far the biggest issue when it comes to players who can be difference-makers. Lots of players are strong at changing the trajectory of a game in the regular season but shut down entirely when it comes to playoffs. Eberle is a playoff producer, but he seems to lack his ‘it’ factor when it comes to the playoffs.

His season high with the Seattle Kraken came in the 2022-23 season when he posted 20 goals and 43 assists for 63 points in his 82-game run. In Seattle’s first playoff run, Eberle contributed significantly with six goals and five assists in the 14 games played. In his 2023-24 campaign, he’s been a lot streakier when it comes to his scoring contributions. He’s posted nine goals and 19 assists for 28 points in 45 games so far. Eberle has been a difference maker for this team, providing his wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to the game of hockey. This is especially apparent when it comes to Eberle playing on some really poor Edmonton Oilers teams. He’s also played with a young Connor McDavid; he’s played with all sorts of talents.

Seattle certainly needs someone to take the ‘it’ factor title away from Eberle, who is looking to compete for a Stanley Cup as his career continues. With one year left at $5.5 million, the pending unrestricted free agent might find himself considering a change of scenery to a contender with Seattle’s playoff status being up in the air.

Conrad Jack

Conrad Jack is a lifelong hockey fan who is now actively writing for Inside The Rink covering primarily the Winnipeg Jets and the entire NHL second. He also covers the latest NHL News & Rumors, the NHL Entry Draft, and so much more for Inside The Rink.

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