The Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired forward Brandon Hagel and fourth-round picks in 2022 and 2024 from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for forwards Taylor Raddish and Boris Katchouk plus a first-round pick in 2023 and 2024, both of which are top-10 protected.
For many hockey fans, the reaction to this trade was a surprise, as Hagel is not exactly a household name. And here he is, getting two first-round picks in return. For starters, those picks will almost certainly be at the end of the round, given Tampa Bay’s success. Also, the 23-year-old former sixth-round pick of the Sabres is having a huge breakout season. Plus, his contract with a low cap hit of $1.5 million does not expire until the end of the 2023-24 season. That is more than two years of Hagel. One big concern here is that Hagel is having a career season while riding an incredibly unsustainable 22.3 percent shooting rate. That will obviously decrease as his career goes on. Still, he is a solid top-nine winger for the future of the Lightning.
Hagel, 23, has scored 21 goals with 16 assists for 37 points in 55 games this season. In his NHL career, all for the Blackhawks, he has 30 goals with 31 assists for 61 points in 108 games.
Trading a young player with talent amid a rebuild sounds weird for the Blackhawks but makes a ton of sense with the return they are getting. For a player who was signed as a CHL free agent and produced well in under two full seasons, getting two first-rounders is a home run. Also coming back are two rookies who have been decent but have struggled to score for Tampa Bay this year. The fourth-rounders offset their additions. Raddysh is the more interesting player, as he played with current Blackhawks Dylan Strome and Alex DeBrincat with the Erie Otters of the OHL. Both were taken in the second round of the 2016 draft, so there is potential there.
Raddysh, 24, made his NHL debut this season and has scored five goals with seven assists for 12 points in 53 games.
Katchouk, 23, also made his NHL debut in 2021-22 and has two goals with four assists in 38 games.