The Chicago Blackhawks have signed Brandon Hagel to a three-year contract, one that will carry an average annual value of $1.5MM. Hagel was a restricted free agent and not eligible for salary arbitration. PuckPedia has the full contract breakdown:
- 2021-22: $1.0MM
- 2022-23: $1.45MM
- 2023-24: $2.05MM
Hagel, 22, has come a very long way from being the 159th overall selection in 2016. That pick was made by the Buffalo Sabres, but by 2018 a contract hadn’t been worked out. The undersized forward became an unrestricted free agent but wasn’t snatched up by any other NHL team. He returned to the Red Deer Rebels of the WHL as an overager without a contract, and started to go to work on his younger opponents. By the end of October, he had 12 goals and 28 points in 15 games, enough to earn an entry-level deal with the Chicago Blackhawks.
In 2019-20, he would score 19 goals and 31 points in 59 games for the Rockford IceHogs, showing he could hang at the professional level. This year, he took that impressive performance to the NHL, scoring nine goals and 24 points in 52 games for the Blackhawks. A player that just can’t stop scoring, Hagel is now a building block for Chicago and locked up through a good chunk of his restricted free agency.
It’s a bit of a crowded field in the Blackhawks forward group, after adding names like Adam Gaudette and Henrik Borgstrom down the stretch, plus Tyler Johnson and Jujhar Khaira this summer, but Hagel should be secure in his role. The team will be able to mix and match the lines to find the right balance of veterans and youth, especially with the return of captain Jonathan Toews in the middle of the ice.