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2007 Entry Draft Prospect Profile: Sam Gagner

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers
From May 7 through June 15, will be profiling 30 of the top prospects in the upcoming NHL Entry Draft in alphabetical order. Check back daily Monday through Friday, to learn more about the players who could become first round draft picks of the club. Philadelphia has two first round picks, including the second choice overall.

The 2007 NHL Entry Draft takes place on June 22 and 23 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

Sam Gagner
2007 Team: London (OHL)
Position: Center/Wing
Shoots: Right
Height: 5’10’’
Weight: 191
DOB: 8-10-89

2007 Statistics
GP: 53G: 35A: 83PTS: 118PIM: 36

Sam Gagner is one of the more highly skilled players available in the 2007 draft, and finished sixth in Central Scouting’s final rankings among North American players. He is known as a playmaking center, is creative with the puck, and has good hands. Several NHL scouts are very high on his hockey IQ, as Gagner is good not only offensively but in his own end as well.

While Gagner had a strong season with London, his size may drop his overall draft position. Among his weaknesses are his acceleration, mobility and ability to fight off his defenders. Still, several scouts see Gagner, son of former NHL’er Dave Gagner, as a solid professional player down the line.

Gagner was the youngest member of Team Canada’s gold medal-winning team at the 2007 World Junior Championships in Sweden, a member of the Western Conference All-Stars for the OHL All-Star Classic, tallying five points (1G, 4A), participated in the 2007 CHL Top Prospects Game, finished second in rookie scoring behind teammate Patrick Kane, was named the OHL Player of the Week for the week ending on October 15, 2006 with 14 points (4G, 10A) in four games, played for Sioux City of the USHL, totaling 46 points (11G, 35A) in 56 games in 2005-06, was named to the USHL All-Rookie Team in 2005-06, and was selected to the Western Conference All-Star Team for the 2006 USHL All-Star Game.

The Flyers say...
"He’s a hard working energy player with very good skills. He’s a gritty kid."
- General Manager Paul Holmgren

"Sam Gagner is a creative, but not overly big center. He plays both ends of the ice well, and competes hard. He’s really smart, has a good stick, sees the ice very well and is a strong playmaker. He plays with [Patrick] Kane, and they are both in the top 10."
- Director of Hockey Operations Chris Pryor

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Colton Gillies
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