Sam Gagner's name is by now a familiar sight in both trade rumours and trade speculation. For the Edmonton Oilers, however, it makes no sense to deal the young centreman unless the return is exceptional.

For all the disappointment that Gagner's inability to find the next level offensively has caused, it's worth remembering that he's a) not yet 23 year old and b) still a pretty good player even if he never improves one iota over what he is now.

The latter point is one often forgotten by Oilers fans. Since entering the league in 2007-08, Sam Gagner has scored 220 points in 366 games, a points-per-game pace of 0.60. That scoring clip puts Gagner ahead of players like Valtteri Filppula, Jiri Hudler, Andrei Kostitsyn, Michael Ryder, Bryan Little and a host of others over the same span.

Hudler is perhaps the most interesting comparison because he just signed a four-year, $4.0 million/season contract in Calgary – he's the same size as Gagner, has a similar scouting report, and in the two seasons since returning from the KHL has played 154 games, scoring 35 times and adding 52 assists for a total of 87 points. Gagner is nearly six years younger, and over the same time period has played 143 games, scoring 33 times and adding 56 assists for 89 points.