Brandon Hagel

Aaron Vickers

Hagel is a skilled, playmaking winger. His skating is effective with strong agility, but his overall stride lacks strength. He has strong puck awareness and a stranglehold of the puck in open ice. An extremely smart and pesky forward able to process the game at an electric speed, Hagel is more of a pass-first player looking for his teammates off the rush. He has good hand-eye coordination, and can knock down hard-to-track pucks and make a pass to an open man. He has the complexity and confidence to make the above-average plays and not just the short, simple connecting pass. His shot is poor at this point, lacking consistency in velocity and accuracy, and he needs to either be in tight to squeak one through the wickets or rely on puck luck from afar. His urgency to cover his man or get pucks simply out of the zone are a struggle when forecheck pressure was ramped up. Hagel shows a willingness to attempt physical play, but he has very minimal success impeding progress or battling for pucks against even smaller players. He is a consistent player on the power play and shows that he is an above-average offensive guy when he has the extra space to create. He has the offensive skill, but looks like more a complementary winger as opposed to a driving force. While he’s a long-term project, Hagel has good positional instincts and makes smart reads with the puck. He shows an ability to attack with speed and has excellent vision. He is physically far from being an NHLer, however, he could be an excellent value pick for a team willing to wait.   (May 2016)