The NHL trade deadline is less than three weeks away. With the Chicago Blackhawks embarking on a rebuild, several players could be on their way out of the Windy City. One highly sought-after name is forward Brandon Hagel. Outlining hockey’s top trade targets, Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff ranks Hagel third on the list, writing he’s “a good bet to move.”
It’s no secret why contenders value Hagel so highly. His contract carries a modest $1.5 million cap hit through the 2023-24 season, after which he will become a restricted free agent. At 23 years old, Hagel could help a contending team win now and in years to come.
On the season, Hagel has 30 points (17 goals, 13 assists) in 48 games. That level of point production at his current cap hit screams “great value.” Beyond the stat sheet, Hagel’s high-energy style of play helps him win puck battles at both ends of the ice. When watching a Blackhawks game, it’s evident he’s always one of the hardest workers on the sheet. To put it quite simply, Brandon Hagel is built for playoff hockey.
But the Blackhawks won’t be playing into May or June anytime soon, evidenced by the direction new GM Kyle Davidson laid out on Tuesday. Seravalli believes Hagel is in “first-round pick plus top prospect territory” regarding a potential return for Chicago. But of course, any team vying for his services would have to pony up what Davidson believes Hagel is worth.
A lot can happen between now and March 21. But if Davidson is ready to dive head-first into the Blackhawks’ rebuild, Hagel is one of his top trade chips.
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