|Born||September 7, 1985 |
Winkler, Manitoba, Canada
|Height||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Weight||204 lb (93 kg; 14 st 8 lb)|
|Position||Centre / Right Wing|
|NHL Draft||18th overall, 2003|
Eric was a first-round draft pick in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft by the Washington Capitals, chosen 18th overall. He played 11 games with the Capitals in the 2005–06 season, going scoreless with two penalty minutes and an even plus-minus rating.
He spent the rest of the season with Washington's American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Hershey Bears and ultimately returned to Hershey to start the 2006–07 season.
Eric played a brief callup with the Capitals early into the 2006–07 season and was later recalled again in late January. His first game back with the Capitals came on January 27, 2007; in the same game, he scored his first career NHL goal which would be the eventual game-winner in the Capitals' 7–3 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes.
He recovered from a herniated disc injury and was called up to the Capitals on February 4, 2008.
On July 8, 2011, Eric was traded to the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for a fourth-round draft pick in 2012 and prospect Danick Paquette. He underwent surgery on his right shoulder in October 2011 and eventually missed the majority of the season due to recurring problems with the shoulder.
Eric was not given a qualifying offer by the Jets at the end of the 2011–12 season, thereby making him an unrestricted free agent.
Due to the 2012–13 NHL lockout, Eric signed his first European contract with HPK of the Finnish SM-liiga on October 23, 2012. He then returned to the Washington Capitals organization after signing a one-year, $600,000 contract on January 13, 2013.
At the conclusion of the 2014–15 season, and as an impending free agent, Eric underwent elbow surgery for a recovery period of 4–6 months. With his injury delaying his involvement for the following season, he was later signed to a three-year contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins on July 28, 2015.
On October 31, 2015, Eric made his debut (after missing the first 10 games of the Penguins season) against the Toronto Maple Leafs. He scored a shorthanded goal and added an assist in a 4–0 Penguins victory.
Eric scored another shorthanded goal in the next game, a 3-2 win against the Vancouver Canucks and thus became the first player in NHL history to score a shorthanded goal in his first two games with a team.
Regular season and playoffs
|2000–01||Brandon Wheat Kings||WHL||4||0||0||0||0||—||—||—||—||—|
|2001–02||Brandon Wheat Kings||WHL||63||11||16||27||29||12||1||1||2||0|
|2002–03||Brandon Wheat Kings||WHL||70||26||29||55||76||17||4||8||12||26|
|2003–04||Brandon Wheat Kings||WHL||71||50||34||84||129||7||5||0||5||16|
|2004–05||Brandon Wheat Kings||WHL||71||59||52||111||91||24||16||16||32||47|
- Stanley Cup (Pittsburgh Penguins) (2016)
In 2014, Eric became a published author, writing an anti-bullying children's book titled "The Bulliest Dozer". The proceeds from book sales benefited charity.