Before the Edmonton Oilers pinned their hopes on the likes of Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle, they looked to players such as 2006 first round pick Sam Gagner. The team re-upped with Gagner today, signing him to a two-year, $4.55 million contract with a $2.275 million annual cap hit according to Nick Kypreos.
Gagner, 21, appeared in 68 games last season for the Oilers scoring 15 goals and 26 assists for 41 points.
The 5’11”, 191-pound London, Ontario native has three seasons under his belt after having put up 49 points (13G, 36A) in his rookie year, where he was named to the 2008 NHL YoungStars Game in Atlanta. He scored 41 points (16G, 25A) in his sophomore year.
It seems like a pretty good deal for both sides. Gagner gets a nice amount of cash considering the fact that he peaked at 49 points and the free agent market has been terrible (restricted or unrestricted). The contract might benefit the Oilers too, though, if Gagner breaks through and exceeds the value of his contract.
The Oilers are probably a few pieces away from being a true playoff contender, but aside from a Nikolai Khabibulin/goalie meltdown here or there, things are looking up in Edmonton.