Gagner was a member of the team's top power-play unit at practice Wednesday, according to Sportsnet 650's Joey Kenward. Gagner skated on the third line with Brock Boeser and was playing the point on the top man-advantage unit. It remains to be seen whether Gagner will stick on the power play in Vancouver, but he's been an asset with the man advantage throughout his career, racking up 18 power-play points in Columbus last season. The 28-year-old possesses some silky hands and strong playmaking ability, so if he consistently plays alongside talented linemates, Gagner could be worth keeping an eye on this season.
Gagner signed a three-year contract worth $3.15 million annually with the Canucks on Saturday, Pierre LeBrun of TSN reports. After a down year with the Flyers in 2015-16 that saw him get demoted to the AHL for the first time in his career, Gagner returned to form last season with the Blue Jackets. The 27-year-old forward tallied a career-high 50 points during the campaign and the output earned him a sizeable pay increase. He may not be surrounded by the same level of firepower in Vancouver that he enjoyed with Columbus. The Canucks ranked near the bottom of the league in scoring last season, so some regression from Gagner wouldn't come as a surprise.
Gagner is a pending unrestricted free agent, thus exposing him to the Vegas expansion draft, theScore reports. Gagner forced his way back into relevancy in his first season in Columbus with a whopping career-high 50 points after toiling in Arizona and Philadelphia for a couple years. He only signed a one-year deal with the Jackets, however, and since he doesn't yet have a new deal done with the team, he's officially been exposed to the Golden Knights' draft. If they wish to select the 27-year-old, they'll get three days of exclusive negotiating rights before his rights transfer back to Columbus until the start of free agency July 1.
Gagner managed two assists with a plus-1 rating in Sunday's 3-2 loss against the Capitals. After a cold snap in mid-March, the center is back at it again. He has pieced together a three-game point streak with four assists and a plus-2 rating and is up to 49 points, tying a career high set during his rookie season with the Oilers.
Gagner opened the scoring Monday with his 18th goal of the season in a 5-3 win over the Flyers. The tally extended his point streak to six games, and Gagner now has 10 points (four goals, six assists) in his last 10 games. He's already established new career highs in goals (18), points (44) and power-play goals (eight) this season, and the 27-year-old seems intent on capping his comeback campaign with a big run to the finish line.
Rank Among Leaders
Last 7 Games
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