The Next Gagner!

As the “summer of change” bleeds out across Edmonton and area it’s probably a good idea to look at the minor leagues (and below) for help. Although the Falcons struggled badly for much of the season there were some difference makers and a few good men who might force their way onto the roster.

Add to that the junior and college players who may be able to ignite the fanbase and create some excitement. It looks to me as though Steve Tambellini will be looking for “the next Gagner!” right soon.

Desjardins’ NHL equivalencies gives us a nice list for saviours amongst the men bubbling under.

It’s important to note that these equivalency percentages are compiled over several seasons and do not change for specific years. It does however have a very nice track record. I’ll list only the players likely to attend training camp as possible Falcons, along with the next great hopes (in bold):

  1. Riley Nash 12-21-33
  2. Ryan Potulny 18-12-30
  3. Jordan Eberle 14-16-30
  4. JF Jacques 5-20-25
  5. Gilbert Brule 13-11-24
  6. Ryan Stone 7-17-24
  7. Rob Schremp 3-20-23
  8. Teemu Hartikainen 15-5-20
  9. Slava Trukhno 5-13-18
  10. Magnus Pääjärvi-Svensson 7-9-16
  11. Bryan Lerg 8-8-16
  12. Colin McDonald 4-6-10
  13. Geoff Paukovich 4-4-8
  14. Ryan O’Marra 1-5-6

Should the Edmonton Oilers fail to excite the masses via the trade route, I think there may be more pressure on a player like Riley Nash to leave college, a buzz around Eberle even before camp begins, a change of heart about how well Timra develops hockey players, or a crazed call to Finland to save the franchise one more time. This is the future, and it might be now. We’ll know the moment Jim Matheseon mentions one of these names.

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