SUN Hockey Pool

Familiar eye on Eberle

Jordan Eberle avoids Vancouver's Jannik Hansen, left, and Dan Hamhuis during Sunday's 2-1 loss....

Jordan Eberle avoids Vancouver's Jannik Hansen, left, and Dan Hamhuis during Sunday's 2-1 loss. (Codie McLachlan, QMI Agency)

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:43 AM ET

EDMONTON - Jordan Eberle finally snapped a four-game pointless streak, but there was one fan in attendance at Rexall Place Sunday night who always believes in him.

Regina Pats centre Jordan Weal finally got to see his former linemate play in a live NHL game.

“It’s pretty cool. Ebs is a pretty hard-working guy and a really good player and it’s great to see guys like that have success,” said Weal, who took in the game with the rest of the Pats, who are in town to face the Oil Kings tonight.

It was a rare opportunity for the WHL club because their season coincides with that of the pros.

“We did it when I was 16 as well,” said Weal, now 18. “We got to come up here to an Oilers game on one of our Alberta trips. It’s always fun getting to see the next level. It’s a totally different game, the speed’s faster, everyone’s bigger. It’s good to be able to see that and know what you’ve got to work towards.”

While they don’t talk nearly as often as they did as teammates last season, Weal still keeps in touch with and keeps a close eye on Eberle, gleaning whatever lessons he can.

“It’s a lot of work, especially since me and Ebs are both smaller players.

“It’s a lot tougher for guys like us who’ve got to work twice as hard to get to the next level because we’re battling against guys who are six-five, six-six, 250,” said Weal, who tips in at five-foot-nine and 165 lbs. — three inches and 20 pounds under Eberle.

“We have to use our quickness and our smarts to really get around guys and Ebs has really found a way to do that.”

But Weal still has plenty of time to grow, both physically and talent-wise, with another couple years in the Dub after getting drafted 70th overall by the Los Angeles Kings in June.

“Every year is a new year and you’re always looking to develop as a player,” he said.

“I had my first NHL camp this fall and I really learned a lot of stuff, what I’ve got to do to get there and I really have a lot of motivation going into this year and next summer.”

Like a good teammate, Eberle has been quick to answer any questions Weal asks.

“He’s always got tips and he’s always had little things to say to me the last couple years playing with him,” Weal said.

“He just says that it’s such a good experience playing at the next level and you get so much respect from everyone.

“Everything’s top-notch there, and it’s for whoever wants to be part of it, just work hard and you can find a way to make it.”

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/Gerry_EdmSun


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