The Chicago Blackhawks announced yesterday that they’d be putting forward Dylan Strome on the injured reserved list. In return, the Blackhawks recalled forward Brandon Hagel from Rockford.
Strome had 10 goals and 20 assists in 40 games this season. He was on his way to yet another successful season as a Blackhawk. After he was traded to the team in November of 2018, he put up 51 points in 58 games. He was well on his way to breaking his ‘career-high’ 51-points as a Blackhawk.
Brandon Hagel has been called up from Rockford. He leads the team in goals with 13. He was second in total points with 21 until he was called up yesterday. What Hagel brings to the Blackhawks is speed, power, and a scoring touch that hopefully will translate to the next level.
With that being said, nothing is promised in this league. For the kid that was a point-per-game player in the WHL, that success hasn’t fully translated to the AHL. Drafted in 2016 by the Buffalo Sabres, he is yet to make his NHL debut.
The similarities he brings to Strome is his size and being just one year younger. At 21, his career is just getting started. It took Dominik Kubalik until he was 24 to make his debut for the Blackhawks. Hagel isn’t a bad player, he’s unproven. Every player is different, it takes time for some of them to develop.
The excitement level for fans that have seen him play in Rockford shows how well-liked he is. The organization has nothing but great things to say about him. If they didn’t believe in him, they wouldn’t have called him up.
With that being said, we don’t know when he will make his debut with the team. The Blackhawks play against the Maple Leafs tomorrow, before returning home to play the Jets on Sunday. We will know more about the situation soon.
My guess is, he’ll make his debut on Sunday. There’s no sense of rushing him out to Toronto. They’ve played without Strome for a week now, they can handle one more game without someone in that spot.
The Blackhawks have had a successful road-trip so far winning both games. Those four points have kept them just five points out of the playoffs. There are a possible six points left for the team to gain before the NHL All-Star break. A successful next three games in our opinion would be taking at least five of the six points.