Eakins is the fourth coach in the past five seasons for the team, who have not made the playoffs since reaching the Stanley Cup final seven years ago.
"This isn't about winning one game or winning one season," Eakins said. "We want to be in the mix every year to win."
Eakins, 46, spent the past four seasons with the AHL's Toronto Marlies, reaching the Calder Cup final in 2012.
"He had too much polish and pedigree not to land one of the NHL jobs available," Edmonton general manager Craig MacTavish said."(Eakins) relates well to young players. That was important for us for obvious reasons."