The kid is easily the best prospect in the organization from the word go. I don’t know his ATOI in the OHL but his Desjardins’ number kicks the living daylights out of Schremp at the same age:

  1. Schremp at 17: 82gp, 12-17-29
  2. Gagner at 17: 82gp, 16-39-55

It’s impossible to make a direction comparison (we don’t have any of the minutes broken down, there was probably a difference in linemate quality, etc) but at some point when a number is so much larger you have to say “there’s just too much” and make the call. That’s what I think we have in this case.

A few quotes on Gagner:

Redline: Sam Gagner is Kane’s running mate in London. He has wonderful vision and creativity and a variety of touch passes that he can make through traffic. He is also the son of former NHL standout Dave Gagner and has acquired his father’s intuitive offensive instincts and general hockey sense. Gagner’s lateral quickness and variety of shifty moves create problems for defenders.

Redline: Plays with drive, determination and hustle. Very smart and heady player who competes hard and hates losing. While not an elite skater, he gets there just fine. Not the biggest dog in the fight, but thrives in traffic and works well in tight space. Slick hands with a quick release snap-shot that keeps defencemen and goaltenders guessing. Can hold the puck too long at times and needs to work on seeing his mates better. Has the ability to play the pivot or wing.

ISS: Sam is a tremendously gifted player. His offensive skills are unquestionable and he has been a top point producer at every level that he has played. Shows very good puck control at a high rate of speed. Linemates benefit from Sam’s excellent anticipation, vision and passing skills, often being set up in excellent scoring positions. Like other young players, at times will cheat on the offensive side of the puck, however he is dependable if game situation clearly requires strong defensive play. Does not have great size, must continue to work on core strength.

I believe Gagner is a better prospect than both Slava Trukhno and Andrew Cogliano, better upside and more of a sure thing. I wonder if he’ll be ready at 19 (as was Hemsky).

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10 Responses to "Gagner"

  1. Lord Bob says:

    Forgotten story on Gagner: there are apparently two pictures of him in the universe, and LT and I have both used them today.

    Geez, LT, I rip you off enough in text… 😛

  2. Bendelson says:

    I’m going to have to disagree with you LT – you think Hemsky was ‘ready’ at 19???? For what???

    My memory of ‘early’ Hemsky is more like a nightmare… IMO he shit the bed for a couple years.
    They rushed him a little and paid the price.

    Here’s to hoping Gagner’s learning curve isn’t so steep.

  3. Lowetide says:

    lord bob: Geez you’re right. There aren’t many photos of the guy. I was trying to find one that didn’t have that huge globe faceshield (he looks like Buzz Lightyear) but there are none to be found.

    bendelson: Hemsky took some time, but he wasn’t useless as a rookie. I believe he finished second that season in rookie assists and improved over the year. But, point well taken hopefully there are stronger options in fall 2008.

  4. jon says:

    Gagner is a good pick and I stand by my assertion that is the best overall player in the top 10 aside from Turris. Shame about the rest of the draft, and I do mean that, the picks really are quite shameful.

  5. doritogrande says:

    Not that it’s going to happen, but I’d prefer to see Gagner traded to another OHL team, one that stresses team defense a little more than the run-and-gun London Knights. We’ve seen firsthand the lack of defensive ability from London draftees with Schremp. He’s going to be an NHLer for a long time, probably better than Dad too, and he could be NHL-ready at 19, like Hemsky before him if he’s used in the right situations with the Oilers. If nurtured properly, Gagner has first line winger written all over him. I’d prefer him on wing because of the lack of size, and because of the other centres we currently have in the system.

    I wasn’t impressed with the pick at first, because Voracek was still on the board, but i’m coming around on him. Gagner is what the organization needs in terms of a cant-miss offensive prospect.

  6. RiversQ says:

    Well, the good news here is that at least Gagner is probably a good player. I still think Voracek will end up being the best player in this draft, but at least this pick doesn’t stink to high heaven like the other two.


    God love ’em.

  7. Kyle says:

    I haven’t seen Voracek first hand, but an unknown Gagne stuck out for me like a sore thumb at the World Jr. tryouts.

    I like the pick, especially since Alzner was already gone.

  8. Master Lok says:

    Before the Oilers picked Gagner, the TSN coverage made Voracek sound like bobby Holik – big two-way Czech with questionable offensive upside. Gagner is the savvy skill type that should make all the prospect fanboys drool, yet many people are still sniping over Voracek. Does Voracek have a better offensive upside than Gagner?

  9. RiversQ says:

    Does Desjardins’ number account for the fact that they score more goals in the O than in the Q these days? Just wondering because it wasn’t always that way.

  10. Lowetide says:

    RQ: No. At least not the measure I’m using. It’s .28 for the Q and .3 for the O.

    The farther we go along though, it’s really important to get these ATOI numbers. Even just a sample number of games.

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