On March 18th, the Blackhawks traded F Brandon Hagel to the Tampa Bay Lighting along with two fourth round picks in exchange for Taylor Raddysh, Boris Katchouk and two conditional first round picks. Trading Hagel was a rumored move for weeks, and the Hawks finally pulled the trigger moving him to a Stanley Cup contender, while adding future assets. In this short article, I'll go over the involved assets to see, so far, who has the better end of the deal with the playoffs just around the corner.
Hagel with the Bolts
Since joining the Lighting, 23 year old Hagel only has 3 goals in 15 games and hasn't really produced as much as Tampa would've expected. With that being said, he is very young and has lots of room to improve, especially with an organization like the Lightning. After grinding his way through the AHL with Rockford and making it into the NHL, Hagel has proved he is no stranger to adversity and will rise to the challenge ahead of him.
Raddysh and Katchouk
The two players the Blackhawks received in return have been quite surprising. Raddysh, 24, is a big winger who immediately stepped into a depth position with the team and has amassed 8 points through 14 games. Katchouk, who is 23, only has 1 point in 14 games played but has been a physical presence in the lineup. These two players were picked up with the future in mind, so them not playing well offensively wouldn't hurt the squad, but the fact Raddysh has made a big, surprising impact leads me to believe he will be apart of that future as a bigger piece then originally thought. Katchouk is definitely going to be a project, as he has some spots he has to clean up that are more obvious then other players, but he has some serious potential.
Who won the trade?
It's hard not to give the early win to the Blackhawks, I mean it's all right there in the stats. Raddysh has more points then Hagel, and Katchouk is playing his role quite well. On top of all this the Blackhawks were able to secure two conditional first round picks, so the early winner is the Blackhawks. Now with that being said, the future is bright for both teams. Hagel showed how much of an offensive weapon he could be in Chicago, putting up 37 points in 55 games before being traded. So it's only a matter of time before he gets surrounded by the right players and starts putting up solid numbers again.
So, to conclude. The very short term winners are the Blackhawks, easily. But, long term I still see the Lightning coming out on top with this one.