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Lightning Make a Splash in Blockbuster Deal With Chicago

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By Jake Ricker

The Tampa Bay Lightning have made quite the splash just a few days before the trade deadline as they pick up F Brandon Hagel from the Chicago Blackhawks. Here are the full trade details:

Lightning Receive

F Brandon Hagel

2022 4th round pick

2024 4th round pick

Blackhawks Receive

F Taylor Raddysh

F Boris Katchouk

2023 1st round pick

2024 1st round pick

While this is a lot to give up for one player, Hagel has a lot of upside. The Lightning have done this sort of trade before in recent memory sending first-round picks and prospects Rangers and Sharks in exchange for Barclay Goodrow and Blake Coleman back in 2020. The end result was back-to-back Stanley Cups.

Hagel, 23 years old, has 21 goals, 16 assists, for a total of 37 points. Even though he only has three years of NHL experience, Hagel has already shown he can play at a high level. He can also make an impact on the power play, which is a spot the Lightning desperately needs help. Hagel has four goals two assists for a total of six points on the man advantage this year. Watching his highlights, Hagel has a knack for screening the goaltender and deflecting shots into the back of the net. Hagel also has experience on the penalty kill, and his numbers are promising. With five hits and four takeaways, he has the ability to play some solid defense.

Perhaps the best part about Hagel is his contract. Hagel has a cap hit of 1.5 million for the next two years after this season (until 2024). For a player of his caliber, that is an extremely team-friendly deal and gives the Bolts some security over the next few seasons. Hagel is also an RFA at the end of his contract, so even if he walks in 2024, the Lighting will be compensated.

What they Gave Up

Katchouk and Raddysh were both solid players for the Lightning. However, with a fully healthy lineup, one of them was always on the outside looking in. While they did have trouble scoring, both players played solid defense when in the lineup, and at just 23 and 24 years old, both of them have a lot of years left. Given more playing time, which they will get in Chicago, it would not be shocking to see either Raddysh or Katchouk hit 10-15 goals.

As for the two first-round picks, if the Lighting are able to continue winning, these are essentially early second-round picks. In fact, the Bolts last six first-round picks were as follows: 32, 31, 27, 28, 14, and 27. Ultimately If these picks are able to help the Lightning make a run at winning their third cup in a row, it's worth it.

Final Thoughts

This is a Goodrow/Coleman 2.0 trade. The price may be high, but at the end of the day, if it's bringing boat parades, Lighting fans will pay it ten times over. Hagel has a great offensive mind and will be a big boost to the power play. If he continues to improve as he has for the next few seasons, the Lighting will not only have a great player for at least the next two seasons, but they will be able to get those picks back if they decide to move on from Hagel.

Hagel will play for the Bolts in their next game against the Rangers on Saturday March 19th.

Let us know your thoughts on the trade in the comments below. Did the Lighting overpay? Is it a fair deal? Any and all thoughts are welcome.

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