Looking back on the Brandon Hagel trade two years later

Since he arrived from Chicago over two years ago, Brandon Hagel has become a vital part of the Lightning's potent offense. We take a look back on possibly one of the best trades in franchise history.
Apr 11, 2024; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Brandon Hagel (38) skates with the
Apr 11, 2024; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Brandon Hagel (38) skates with the / Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

It's March 18, 2022, and the Tampa Bay Lightning are looking for more offensive help at the trade deadline, as they will look to make their final push to capture their third straight Stanley Cup. The past offseason saw them part ways with their storied third line due to cap constrictions. Blake Coleman would depart up north to Calgary in free agency. Yanni Gourde would head to the newly formed Seattle Kraken in the expansion draft. The Lightning would then reluctantly trade Barclay Goodrow to the New York Rangers for a 2022 7th-round draft pick (Dyllan Gill).

It would be very evident throughout that season that the Lightning would need to make some moves at the trade deadline to have any hope of a deep playoff run. It was on that day in March that the Bolts General Manager Julien Brisebois would pull the trigger on a deal with the Blackhawks that would send then prospects Taylor Raddysh and Boris Katchouk, along with 2023 1st round pick, and a 2024 1st round pick to Chicago. The Lightning would receive a 2022 4th-round pick, a 2024 4th-round pick, and Brandon Hagel.

At the time one might wonder why the Lightning gave up so much for a 23-year-old forward who is virtually unknown to all outside of Chicago. Hagel posted 21 goals with 37 points in 55 games out in the Windy City. Hagel would go on to underperform in his initial Lightning audition, putting up only four goals and 7 points in the final 22 games of the season. Hagel's Stanley Cup Playoffs would show more of the same as he would score two goals and 6 points en route to the Lightning falling short in the Stanley Cup Final to Colorado

Two years later it is plain to see why Tampa paid somewhat of a hefty price at the time for an unknown forward from Chicago. In his two seasons in Tampa Bay, Hagel has tallied an impressive 60 goals and 146 points. In his 185 games in the Bay, Hagel has proven not only was the price Tampa Bay paid in 2022 cheap. He has also proved that he can be an essential part of a highly potent offense. Regularly playing alongside Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point, Hagel has not only proven he can score and at times step into the role of playmaker. Hagel has developed his all-around game. It is evident that not only Brandon Hagel is an important part of Tampa Bay's present, but also an essential part of the Bolts' future.