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NHL Edmonton Oilers

Edmonton Oilers: Sam Gagner Has Finally Established Himself

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Even if their season hasn’t quite gone as planned, there is still a great deal of buzz around this Edmonton Oilers squad.

They are a team loaded with young talent. Even if they won’t be able to afford to keep all of that young talent around in the future, they could have a major playoff run in them within the next couple of years. Accumulating all of those no. 1 draft picks will do that to you.

One of those young players that has been a very pleasant surprise for the Oilers this year has been Sam Gagner. Once looking like he was the odd man out in all of these young guys, Gagner has established himself as a fine player and is having a breakout year in 2013.

Gagner already has 19 points on the season, in 20 games. This is a guy who hasn’t been anywhere near a point-per-game player in his career. In full seasons, he’s been in the 40′s with his point totals every season. If this were a full season, he’d probably be setting a new career high in that department. Don’t forget, this is a kid that’s still only 23 years old.

Of course, it’s not hard to find offensive success playing with Nail Yakupov and Ales Hemsky. Thirteen of Gagner’s 19 points have come via the assist, so he’s setting his teammates up well. He’s performed well on special teams as well, logging minutes on the power play and playing especially well on the penalty kill.

Gagner has points in all but four of Edmonton’s games this season. He’s proving that he belongs around these young forwards that boast elite potential. But will he be around in Edmonton long enough to showcase his skill when he does reach that level? It’s certainly an intriguing question over whether the Oilers could sell high on Gagner, given their depth up front.

That’s not the concern at this moment, though. For right now, the Oilers and their fans are certainly enjoying a fine season, and a breakout campaign,from Sam Gagner.