Andrew Cogliano’s comps are easy to identify. He’s 20, has very specific skills that are above average and is very recognizable because of his footspeed.
Andrew Cogliano belongs to the Dave Keon, Butch Goring, Ralph Backstrom family of centers who have such a wide variety of skills that their offensive numbers are sure to suffer. Cogliano’s impressive speed, aggressive forecheck, great anticipation and intelligence means he’s already a penalty killer of note for the Oilers.
To give you an indication of his impact already in this area, here is the list of the trusted forwards who have killed penalties for Craig MacTavish since 00-01 and their minutes per game in that capacity (20 games or more, min. 30 seconds per game):
- Stoll (03-04) 1:51
- Cogliano (07-08) 1:19
- Pittis (00-01) 1:01
- Thoresen (06-07) 0:55
- Pouliot (06-07) 0:45
I understand there have been injuries (Moreau, Pisani), and the Oilers top 4 PK forwards (Reasoner, Horcoff, Brodziak, Stoll) are all over 3 minutes a game.
Although we know the “family” of players that Cogliano belongs to, it isn’t yet clear where he ranks among that group. Some of those guys popped 30 goals a few times and early indications are that Cogliano has some offensive ability (he scored on a breakaway last night, safely clearing the “Marchant” hurdle). He ranks third in rookie scoring despite playing many fewer minutes than the Chicago two (Toews: 18:38, Kane: 18:32, Cogliano: 14:10) and is one of only two rookie forwards to have a SH goal (other one is Dowell, Chicago).
I believe Sam Gagner is a better prospect than Andrew Cogliano, but also believe that Cogliano may be the guy who does more to help his team win hockey games.
There’s a difference. Cogliano has a wide group of skills and his current NHL totals (26gp, 6-9-15) have him on course for more than 45 points. That will put him pretty high on an impressive list.