Eberle did not score in his first 10 games, but he now has 12 goals and 22 points overall for the Isles (17-12-3) heading into Saturday’s home game against the Los Angeles Kings.
In recent weeks he has developed chemistry on a line with the sizzling rookie center Mathew Barzal and the veteran left wing Andrew Ladd, who moved his family to Long Island last season when he signed a seven-year free-agent contract.
Eberle was originally envisioned as the right wing on a line with Tavares and Lee, but his shift to the second line has alleviated pressure on Tavares, the team’s leading scorer in seven of his eight seasons with the franchise.
The Islanders are in the playoff mix in a tight Metropolitan Division race, where four points separate the top six teams.
Eberle’s simmering intensity has impressed his coach.
“He’s been really solid, really confident; he’s a quiet leader,” said Doug Weight, a former Oiler whom Eberle looked up to when he was younger. “Jordan has stepped up and accepted every role we have given him in a good way.”
Playing with Ladd has helped Eberle. Their wives have bonded as native Albertans, and Ladd and Eberle are thriving alongside the 20-year-old Barzal, a rookie of the year candidate with 28 points through 31 games, including a five-assist performance against the Colorado Avalanche on Nov. 5.
“Ebs has become one of my best friends, and Ladd is one of the great leaders I have been around,” Barzal said. “It helps me being a young guy playing with two veterans. They make me feel comfortable.”
Eberle has fallen into the groove of many Long Islanders, riding the train to his workplace in Brooklyn instead of battling relentless traffic.