Sam Gagner is a better hockey player this year than he was a year ago.
The points aren’t coming, but the results are very strong and in areas where we shouldn’t expect a 19-year old to deliver results.
It’s important to remember that adding up goals and assists only tells part of the story; in the words of the coach, it’s a lot about goals but it’s also a lot about what you leave.
Sam Gagner’s line is leaving very little for the next guy so far and that’s a solid indicator.
First, let’s look at the boxcar numbers year over year:
- 07-08 (1st 10): 1-6-7, -2
- 08-09 (1st 10: 0-2-2, E
Now for context: In his rookie season Gagner was playing against butter opposition. This season, according to Desjardins, the kids are facing much tougher competition.
It’s also important to remember that Gagner’s season one year ago had the ups and downs we associate with all players.
- 07-08 (2nd 10): 1-1-2, -6
And my notes say it was against the same butter coming back the other way. This season, I’d bet he’ll do better than 2 points in his second 10 game segment and it’ll be against tougher competition.
Context. Sam Gagner. 19 years old, playing against actual NHL players and it’s a draw. Plus his interviews are music! Every time he’s asked about the offense, he makes eye contact and speaks in a confident tone.
Touched by God, with composure and a very big brain. At 19.