Brandon Hagel is one name that has NOT been on the mind of many Blackhawks fans when it comes to tradable pieces ahead of the 2022 NHL Deadline. And for good reason. Hagel is young, affordable, plays a valuable style of hockey, and looks like a key part of the team’s future. And that’s exactly why the Blackhawks are holding out for a boatload in a potential trade package for the 23-year-old winger.
According to Frank Seravalli on the Daily Faceoff Rundown podcast, the Blackhawks would be asking for a first-round pick, a top prospect, plus more in a trade package to take Hagel away from Chicago, and they have reportedly already received offers that have approached that line. Approached, but not quite crossed.
Seravalli: “Is it worth it to the Blackhawks to keep Hagel? Or to get a price close to that and move him?”
Gregor: “But do you think you can get a first-rounder for Brandon Hagel?”
Seravalli: “Can they get a first? There are teams that have offered a first and a prospect.”
Gregor: “For Hagel?!”
Gregor: “Well, if I’m Chicago, I’m taking that.”
Finishing the discussion a few minutes later, Seravalli says that Chicago is likely not to move the 23-year-old winger.
Gregor: “Brandon Hagel’s name, I like it, Frank. Put it out there!”
Seravalli: “But I don’t think they’re moving him because I don’t think they are going to get what they think they need.”
Two big takeaways there: The Blackhawks have received offer(s) for Hagel that include a first round pick *and* a prospect. But despite what seems to be a relative haul, Seravalli does not think they’re going to move him. Technically, he says that Chicago doesn’t expect to get what they think they need in any offer, but it really sounds like they just prefer to keep him unless they’re totally blown away by an offer. In other words, this doesn’t quite strike me as a play for leverage, or holding out for something better. I think the Blackhawks do really want to keep Hagel.
And why not?
Hagel has 13 goals and 26 points in 42 games this season for the Blackhawks this season. He has surpassed his goal and point totals from last season as a rookie and is second on the team in goals and fourth on the team in points, while playing in a top-six role and on both the powerplay and penalty-kill.
Brandon Hagel is one of those types of players that contending teams overpay to get at the NHL Trade Deadline to put them over the top as the postseason draws near. He can play a checking role, skates well, and can provide scoring. He’s young and has affordable term left on his current deal at just $1.5M AAV. He’s a buyer’s dream at the deadline. But he’s also more valuable to the Blackhawks on their roster moving forward than he is as a trade piece. For a team looking to potentially rebuild, Hagel is part of the process to build the Blackhawks back up, not part of tearing them down.