The USHL’s Chicago Steel landed a top CHL prospect when they signed a tender agreement with Macklin Celebrini earlier this month, and now they’ve done it again. Brad Elliott Schlossman of the Grand Forks Herald reports that Michael Hage has also signed a tender with the Steel, and will pass on the chance to play in the OHL.
Hage, 16, was expected to be a top-five pick in the upcoming OHL draft after his incredible performance at the 2022 OHL Cup, a tournament for the best U16 teams from Ontario and the United States. The young forward registered seven goals and 16 points for the Toronto Jr. Canadiens, only trailing Michael Misa–the latest player to be granted exceptional status into the CHL–in both categories.
While Misa is a top prospect for the 2025 draft, Hage is eligible for the 2024 event and figures to be a potential first-round selection at this point. While there’s still lots of time for that to change, joining the powerhouse Steel program should certainly help his development. It also means that Hage will retain his NCAA eligibility, perhaps leading to an opportunity to play college hockey in the future–something that disappears when a player suits up in the OHL.
At any rate, Hage will still likely be selected at some point in the OHL draft later this week and a team will hold his rights to try and convince him down the road. Fans in Chicago will be lucky enough to see him as he takes the next steps toward NHL relevance.