Brandon Hagel – $880,833 RFA
Brandon Hagel has been a shockingly good forward for Chicago. He is an electric player that is playing a role similar to Andrew Shaw when he is on the ice. Hagel is scrappy but needs to do a better job of wreaking havoc in front of the net.
Hagel is playing in his rookie season and is not putting up crazy numbers. While he is an electric player, I do think the team is not going to overspend to add him into the lineup. The Blackhawks should re-sign Hagel for the next two or three years on a deal around a million dollars.
I do not think Hagel is going to sign a two-way deal as he has been in the NHL pretty consistently this season, so keeping him here on a cheap deal for the long term won’t hurt.
Nikita Zadorov – 3.2 million dollars RFA
Alright, Nikita Zadorov has not been that bad with the Hawks. While fans, myself included, might not be overly thrilled with his play and joining the team, he has done his part. Zadorov is a physical threat and can be a calming presence on a team when physicality is needed.
Zadorov has registered his fair share of assists this season as well. His play has been average, and I do not know whether or not Stan Bowman should spend too much on Zadorov. If he can really improve his play throughout the remainder of the season and be a little bit more defensively sound, then sure, they can spend three or four million on him, but if he is not playing at a higher level, then the team can not afford to overspend on him.