Before I talked about Blackhawks forward Brandon Hagel’s shot… I no longer think that’s much of an issue.
Brandon Hagel is really good at hockey at a discounted price. For an NHL GM, that’s a gem, especially when you find him for free like Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman did. Hagel has done amazing since his debut last season and though I talked about his lacking shot in my last article, looking back I don’t really think that’s much of an issue anymore.
Brandon Hagel possesses underrated handles, great hockey IQ, impactful speed, and he can pass the puck. Not only that, but his work ethic causes fits for the opposition. Against Minnesota, he played an amazing game on the top line, giving himself a chance at a penalty shot. During this time, I personally thought that it was a bust and the Blackhawks lost a great scoring chance. Hagel then, thank goodness, proved me wrong and juked Cam Talbot out of the crease for a beautiful goal.
Hagel is shaping up to be one of the top six players on the team, there’s no chance, with his skillset, that he would be rotated based on his abilities. His skill is one thing, but he can bring the energy if called upon. Playing with either Kirby Dach or Mackenzie Entwhistle, he is bound to find his chances. He won’t be playing with Patrick Kane or Alex Debrincat seeing as they are set as the Blackhawks’ dynamic duo with Tyler Johnson centering them. But he does have a very good chance to play with Jonathan Toews or, again, Kirby Dach.
Personally, I am very excited to see his progression this upcoming season and, at 1.5 million, is an amazing bargain for the franchise. With his skillset and work ethic, he’s going to be a huge part of the next generation of Blackhawks hockey and, hopefully, we will see his effectiveness in full form the postseason in May of 2022.