Was Brandon Hagel a Steal for the Chicago Blackhawks?
Brandon Hagel had a three-point game in a 5-4 comeback win over the Nashville Predators.
Brandon Hagel was a sixth round draft pick by the Buffalo Sabres in 2016. He then didn’t sign a contract with them to become a free agent. The Chicago Blackhawks then signed him in 2018 when his draft rights expired. The front office saw something that motivated them to sign him, and boy, were they right.
In this last season, Brandon Hagel has been a key player for the Blackhawks. He has been consistent in his play, has a high-motor that helps create chances for his team and draws penalties. He has that high compete level a team needs to win games and has an offensive side that teams now have to take note of.
In his three-point outing vs Nashville, Hagel displayed a type of tenacity that I have been looking for in the Blackhawks. He was tough to play against, but he didn’t only frustrate the defense. He displayed a type of offensive ability that I haven’t seen from him this year. He has a great passing ability as we saw with that saucer pass to Pius Suter for the first goal of the game. He is also a sniper, with a great shot top shelf on Saros from the bottom of the left faceoff circle.
He and Vinnie Hinostroza have that relentless style of play any team needs to win, and they combined for FIVE points. Hinostroza is still a steal of the Blackhawks, but the added effect he has with Hagel definitely changes things. They can exact a hard forecheck on the opposition every shift and bring momentum with their relentlessness.
So, in Brandon Hagel, the Blackhawks have a hard-working forward with a bite to his game, relentless efforts that contribute in different, positive ways, and undeniable offensive ability. And they didn’t have to give anything up to bring him into the organization. Hagel looks to be a mainstay in the line up now and into the Kirby Dach Era of Blackhawks hockey.
Is Hagel a steal? Definitely, hands down, you bet.