Red Wings: Analyzing possible trade chip, Brandon Hagel

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With the trade deadline just days away, fanbases across the NHL are combing through trade big boards to find possible acquisitions – forward Brandon Hagel is a player that appears on most of the lists.

While the Detroit Red Wings aren’t necessarily buying at the deadline, General Manager Steve Yzerman has proven in the past that he’s not afraid to make massive moves at the deadline. Expect the unexpected.

With that out of the way, let’s examine Hagel stats, and consider if he is a fit for Detroit.

The stats

There’s a reason that Hagel is one of the more appealing trade chips available at the deadline – he’s having an extremely productive year. In 55 games, Hagel has 22 goals and 15 assists. That’s the fourth-most points on the Blackhawks roster.

Hagel’s stats on Evolving-Hockey are shockingly good. His goals above replacement is currently at 13.2 (15.1 expected) and his wins above replacement is 2.3 (2.7 expected). That’s stellar for a former sixth round pick.

While not quite as impressive, Hagel’s possession metrics are also solid. As it stands, his Corsi-for relative percentage is 4.8 and his Fenwick-for is 3.9.

By all means, Hagel is having a great year. However, approach him with caution. His stats are being boosted by a fantastic 23.2 shooting percentage. He’s a sixth-round pick with very little experience in the NHL. It’s hard to argue with stats, but buyers should be weary of the risk accompanying Hagel.

Why Hagel?

At 23 years old, Hagel fits the Red Wings rebuild schedule. He will be entering his prime as Detroit will likely start making deep runs in the playoffs. He’s also not a slack in the defensive zone. Simply put, he’d be a great addition to the ongoing rebuild.

The problem? This could be the most expensive Hagel is throughout his career. His production, age and cheap contract are driving up his cost. Yzerman is a big fan of draft capital – it’s hard to see him giving away a king’s ransom for such a risky player.

But again, it’s Yzerman we’re talking about. It’s a fools errand attempting to predict exactly what he’ll do at the deadline.

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