“Obviously, this is a first experience for me,” Eberle said. “It’s been a bit of a whirlwind day. It’s something I’ve never gone through before and it’s a different experience but something I definitely knew would eventually come. For me right now, I’m very excited to be a New York Islander.”
The 27-year-old had 51 points in 82 games with the Oilers this season, but things fizzled out in his first NHL post-season and he only came up with two assists in 13 games.
That said, Eberle produced well during most of his tenure in Edmonton. He has 382 points in 507 games since debuting in October of 2010. In 2011-2012, he had 76 points – including 34 goals.
Eberle is in the fifth year of a six-year contract worth an average annual value of $6 million, so the Oilers were able to clear up some cash by making the deal.
“No secret we’ve got to clear up some space to sign both Connor [McDavid] and Leon [Draisaitl],” Edmonton general manager Peter Chiarelli said. “There are times that these deals come about and you have to act on them and we just felt it would improve our team.”
Eberle’s name had been batted around in trade rumours for some time now, so it’s hardly surprising to see the Oilers finally pull the trigger. He should have a good run of it on Long Island, with many expecting him to start on a top line with John Tavares.
“We’ve played together at the World Juniors when we were a lot younger,” Eberle said. “We’ve played at World Championships together. Obviously, John is a generational player and a guy who thinks the game at a very high level and he’s obviously the leader of that team. I’m excited to hopefully get an opportunity to get a chance to play with him and hopefully bring some success to the Islanders.”
The 23-year-old Strome was drafted by the Islanders in 2011 and had 30 points in 69 games this season. His best season to date came in 2014-2015, when he piled up 50 points in 81 games. He has a year remaining on his current contract, with an average annual value of $2.5 million, and you could say he’s pretty thrilled to join his new team.
“Super excited, honestly,” said Strome. “I was at a loss for words. Other than the emotional aspect of missing some teammates and stuff like that, I couldn’t be more excited for the new opportunity. Obviously, a lot of great things going on in Edmonton, so just from watching them in the playoffs this year, I’m really ecstatic about joining the group.”