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Blue Jackets' Gagner on pace for career year

Jamie Sabau / National Hockey League / Getty

With a goal in his Columbus Blue Jackets' 5-1 dismantling of the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday, Sam Gagner has matched his entire 2015-16 goal total.

The 27-year-old - who inked a one-year, $650,00 deal with the the Blue Jackets late in the offseason - has been a pleasant surprise for the team who currently holds down the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference with a 12-5-4 record.

After a forgettable stint with the Philadelphia Flyers last season that saw Gagner manage just eight goals and 16 points over 53 games, it appeared the former first-round pick could be weeded out of the league.

However, he's emerged this season as a legitimate scoring threat, netting his eighth goal of the season Tuesday to go along with five assists in 20 games.

In fact, his current pace would see him hit the 50-point mark which would set a career high, besting his 2007-08 output when he managed 49 points in 79 games as a rookie with the Edmonton Oilers.

It's still early, but after never quite finding his stride since his early days in Edmonton, Gagner appears to have finally struck gold in Columbus.

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