One of the key remaining pieces of business appears to be resolved, as Brandon Hagel has reportedly signed a 3 year deal with the Blackhawks for $1.5M per season.
A 3 year deal is done for Hagel, who will look to build on his suprising rookie season in Chicago. Finishing last season with 24 points in 52 games (9G, 15A), Hagel was a spark plug for the forward group, and the coaching staff had a hard time removing him from the lineup once he got there.
Hagel displayed the effort, hustle, tenacity, and improvement that you would love to see in any young player, and his energy when on the ice carried over to his line mates in my opinion. This type of effort, if he can keep it up under his new contract, will keep him as a key member of the Blackhawks forward group for the next several years.
When you look at teams like Tampa Bay, and the New York Islanders, the key to their success is not only having a solid top 6 Forwards, but also having effective and “tough-to-play-against” bottom 6 Forwards. Names like Yanni Gourde, Blake Coleman, Barclay Goodrow, Casey Cizikas, and Cal Clutterbuck come to mind as players who opposing teams are wary of when they take the ice against those teams.
Brandon Hagel has the potential to play up and down the lineup, and in a variety of roles, but I feel like the one he is best suited for is a Bottom 6 “hurricane” type player. What I mean by this is that his best role is to create chaos on the forecheck, play hard all 200 ft, and bring energy (and some scoring) to the lineup.
The ‘Hawks front office did well to get him signed to a 3-year deal at a reasonable salary of $1.5M per season. The Blackhawks held all the leverage since Hagel couldn’t receive an offer sheet, and would not be eligible for arbitration for 2 more years. They gave the player a respectable deal, and locked up a key piece of their bottom 6.