Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Sam Gagner's 18 year old season

Tyler on Lowetide had this comment on Sam Gagner

Gagner is so out of his depth that I want to cry watching him - but I'm still not sure that he has quite enough offensive game to get it done.

I wonder about his long run progression too. He doesn't really have much of a shot, and is somewhat weak defensively despite some solid individual plays. I mean, no question that the talent is there - and he's only barely 18 - but what is his ceiling as a hockey player?

Looking at two comparables, both whom went straight to the NHL from junior, he's in good company thus far. Whether he'll take the big step in one of the subsequent years like them, or or more locally, Hemsky [3rd professional hockey season] remains to be seen.

Staal put up:
81 11 20 31
*Turned 19 at the end of October, effectively making him a 19 year old

71 16 23 39

Gagner is thus far:
39 3 13 16
*He put up 7 points in his first 8 or so game.

The reality of the situation is fans like myself tend to be impatient. Prospects also develop at different rates.

For Gagner, I feel he'll have to improve his strength and work on his shot. Defensive play will come with experience.

Will he?

The hockey sense and heart is there [Read: Toolbox].


Gilmore Tuttle said...

Gagner is kind of an enigma to us Oiler fans who are so used to having to sit back and wait to watch a skater develop. He's progressed pretty nicely for an 18 year old in his 1st season in the show...but he's obviously got some growing to do physically and a lot more to learn. It'll come with time, or so we hope.

With the Oilers' poor draft and development history leading up to the past few years, this is the chance for the organization to get it right. Skaters like Gilbert, Smid, Brodziak, Cogliano, Gagner, Nilsson and the like are bi-products of the Oilers' developmental system (Nilsson and Smid are relative newcomers, but their development will be influenced either positively or negatively by the Oilers organization). This is the club's chance to prove that their current coaching staff, scouting staff, and developmental staff are bringing these skaters along at an acceptable pace.

Ineptitude in this department of the organization destroys the potential for good hockey clubs. It takes years to recover from it (see: the current Oilers, the pre-'07/08 Blackhawks and Blues). With a skater like Gagner, this is the perfect experiment to see exactly how the Oilers handle this kid. He's 18 years old so he's got his best days ahead of him, he's the son of an NHLer and is by all accounts coachable and receptive. It will take a couple of years to draw any sort of conclusions with young Samwise, but the incubation period has most certainly begun. The same can be said for every Oiler rookie who's seeing signifcant ice for the 1st time in their NHL careers.

PunjabiOil said...

Agreed Gilmore Tuttle.