24-Year-Old Center – Phoenix Coyotes
Sam Gagner Contract Information:
Signeda three-year contract with the Oilers, worth $14.4 million, in July of 2013.
Just hours after Gagner was acquired from the Oilers, the Lightning shipped him along with forward B.J. Crombeen to the Coyotes for a 2015 sixth-round draft pick, ESPN.com reports.
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|2013-14 Proj||24||NHL||PHO||60||Subscribe now to see our 2013-14 projections for Sam Gagner|
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|View Sam Gagner's Full Game Log|
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Sam Gagner: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Gagner has been pushed to the second line with the Oil's addition of so much top end talent. He can still be a useful player, but is no longer seen as someone to build a franchise around and his naem is often whispered in trade rumors. Gagner is still just 22 years of age and could start this year with 2012's top overall pick, Nail Yakupov, flanking him, but his upside seems to be that of a 20-goal scorer with only a small handful of those goals on the power play.
Gagner missed the final month of the 2010-11 season after having his hand sliced open by a teammate during a game. He will be fully recovered from the freak accident for the start of this season and is expected to center the second line. Gagner has disappointed the Oilers as he hasn't taken that next step in his evolution since scoring 49 points in his rookie campaign. The Oilers are starting to acquire more offensive talent and if Gagner is unable to take that next step this season, he may find his playing time diminished or taken away all together.
Gagner was another Oiler that ended last season on injured reserve. His problem was with his hip and although the injury wasn't considered all that serious, the Oilers decided it would be best not to take a chance with their young center. If he had stayed healthy Gagner was poised to score the most goals in a season in his young career, but is still not much of a fantasy force with the exception of deeper leagues as scoring more than 25 goals in a season may be a stretch for him if he's not on the first line.
Gagner was part of the problem in Edmonton last season. Not so much for declining play, but for having pretty much the same season as his freshman year. Improvement was expected, but outside of improving his plus/minus from -21 to -1, his stats are similar. If he wants more ice time, than he will have to find the back of the net more than the 16 times he did in 2008-09. Once again the upside is there for him to do just that, but his ceiling may be that of a 25-30 goal scorer.
Gagner had a solid rookie season for Edmonton finishing with 13 goals and 49 points in 79 games. He has a very bright future. Finished the season as the Oilers number one center and should remain there. Although not a fantasy stud as of yet, there is plenty of room for improvement.
Gagner has terrific hockey sense to go along with good offensive upside and defensive smarts. Hopefully, his development will continue in the upcoming years as the Oilers have a great prospect here. He'll likely return to London of the OHL in 2007-08.
Gagner could very well one of the smartest hockey minds in this year's draft and we all know how hockey IQ can elevate a player's ultimate performance. Sure, he's a bit on the small side at 5'10" and 191 lbs, and he needs to improve his skating. But this kid is one of those seeing-eye playmakers who can dish up tasty little passes to sniping linemates. He needs some more seasoning but he will some day deliver better than a point per game. And fantasy owners will rejoice.