One Year Later, Hagel Trade Looks like Win-Win

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Over a year has passed since the Tampa Bay Lightning acquired Brandon Hagel from the Chicago Blackhawks ahead of the 2022 trade deadline. Tampa Bay gave up a massive haul and right now the deal is looking like a great one for both sides.

For Chicago, acquiring two NHL ready prospects in Taylor Raddysh and Boris Katchouk was nice but the biggest kicker in the deal was Tampa Bay throwing in their 2023 and 2024 first round draft picks. Those two picks of course will likely be late first round picks but they are still valuable assets.

Raddysh has been a bright spot on a struggling Blackhawks team this season. He currently leads Chicago in goals and assists with 20 and 33 on on the year respectively. Those are very good numbers for a second year NHL’er on a team sitting toward the bottom of the league. If Chicago can turn those first round picks into NHL players, they will likely be very happy with what the deal turned into for them.

As for the Lightning, Tampa Bay paid such a premium for Hagel because he is a good player for one and the fact he is under contract through next season at $1.5 million. The production he has shown this year makes his deal look like one of the best values in the NHL.

Hagel is currently on pace for a 68 point season. Few would have expected his production to be quite that high but by being a very nice complementary piece alongside the Lightning’s top forwards, Hagel has exceeded expectations. In addition to piling up the points, Hagel has proven to be a menace on the forecheck with the way he skates and creates turnovers that lead to offense.

The season Hagel is having has more than validated the price tag the Lightning paid a year ago. Having him on a dirt chap deal is just the icing on the cake. Tampa Bay will want to take advantage of this two year window of Hagel’s deal while they can because his price tag is rising by the second and he will be looking at a big raise. Whether or not that next deal will be from the Lightning or not will have to wait.

A year to the date exactly of the trade, Hagel netted his second career hat-trick and first with Tampa Bay. This performance was one of many this season that have hushed any doubts some may have had regarding what the Lightning gave up in order to get him.

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