It’s Official, Jordan Eberle is headed to Seattle.
The forward was selected by the Seattle Kraken in Wednesday night’s expansion draft and appeared in person during the presentation. The selection capped days of speculation after Eberle and Josh Bailey were both left unprotected by the New York Islanders.
Sources had told NYI Hockey Now that Seattle was eying Bailey and that the Islanders were working to steer them to Eberle.
Jordan Eberle was on hand for Wednesday’s announcement and wore the road Seattle jersey onto the stage after Long Island Native and WNBA star Sue Bird helped make the selection. The 31-year-old had a smile on his face as he walked out to the cheer of the crowd at Gas Works Park in Seattle.
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“To see the passion here of the fans it’s very, very exciting,” Eberle said on stage. “It’s a new challenge. You don’t get many opportunities to be part of a new franchise. Any time you get that opportunity to bring a cup to a city that’s never had it before, that’s pretty special.”
Jordan Eberle had appeared in 272 games with the Islanders since he was traded to the New York Islanders and recorded 169 points (76 goals, 93 assists), but he has failed to score more than 20 goals in the regular season in all but one year on Long Island. Eberle also had 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in 19 playoff games last season.
Eberle was made aware on Tuesday that he had been selected by Seattle after Lou Lamoriello called him, Eberle said during an interview with NHL Network. Seattle GM Ron Francis rang Eberle right after.
“It’s been a whirlwind couple of days,” Eberle said during the interview. “It’s been first class so far. Once you get over the whirlwind and texts and everything, you get pretty excited.”
The departure of Eberle means the Islanders have freed up another $5.5 million from their books. The now-former Islander was one of 30 players selected on Wednesday night by the NHL’s newest franchise.