Sport

Islanders swap Strome for Oilers' Eberle

Islanders swap Strome for Oilers' Eberle

The New York Islanders have acquired winger Jordan Eberle from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for center Ryan Strome, the teams announced Thursday. Over the course of his career, Eberle has been as consistent as goal scorers come, putting up 20 goals in all but two of his seven seasons - he narrowly missed the mark in his rookie campaign and in the lockout-shortened season - and he's a near lock to put up at least 50 points.

In Eberle, the Islanders are getting a player who was originally drafted by the Oilers with the 22nd overall pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, Eberle has been a mainstay in the Oilers' lineup since the 2010-11 season. Strome has plenty of potential - he was drafted fifth overall back in 2011 and scored 17 goals as a 21-year-old in 2014-2015 - but he has been plagued by inconsistency.

He could be playing with friend John Tavares on the No. 1 line with Islanders.

In New York, he is expected to join the top line alongside Tavares, the Islanders' captain, and one of the best players in the game.

Chiarelli talked up Eberle, 27, at his season-ending presser, writing off his playoff struggles (no goals, two assists) as a player trying to figure it out in the playoffs for the first time. "He brings speed and a knack for scoring not only consistently, but scoring big goals, in big games".

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The Edmonton Oilers will open their season at Rogers Place when they host the Calgary Flames in the Battle of Alberta on Wednesday, October 4. Eberle is signed for two more seasons, at a cap hit of $6-million. Both deals could exceed $6 million per season, and freeing up the additional cap space gives the Oilers almost $24 million to work with this summer.

However, if the Oilers want to slide Leon Draisaitl to McDavid's wing, as they did frequently last season, then Strome could slide to the middle of the ice because while he's played more wing through his first four seasons, Strome has worked at centre too.

In that sense, regardless of what Strome produces in Edmonton, this looks to be a deal that can work for both sides.

The move frees up cap space for the Oilers, who have some big-money signings coming up.


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