Oil on Whyte Ruling: Over
It’s quite possible that Gagner could surpass 63 points, especially when you consider who his linemates could be. If the pre-season is any indication, head coach Dallas Eakins could have Gagner playing with any and all of the Oilers top nine forwards.
Any hockey player will look better when playing with any of the aforementioned Oilers and Gagner is no different. For that reason alone, I’m going over on the point production but only slightly with 65 points.
Gagner is a talented individual who doesn’t let his lack of size deter him from being a top player for the Oilers. He has developed in front of our eyes over the past few years and can now be classified as a go-to-guy for the club with six years of experience behind him.
Throw in the fact that the Oilers should once again have one of the more lethal powerplays in the league, something that Gagner contributes to, and his numbers will again be solid. Over his career, Gagner has collected 31% of his points on the powerplay, 29 goals and 51 assists.
Last season should have provided plenty of optimism on why Gagner is a key piece to the Oilers success and he’s proven he can shoulder the load and take on more responsibility. His defensive game will also be key to the Oilers success but for now we focus on the offensive numbers, and the early projections have them looking promising.