Brandon Hagel signed a contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning this week. The contract gives the 24-year-old Saskatoon native $52 million over the next 8 years. On average, that means Hagel will be earning $6.5 million annually.
In an interview, Hagel said, “You go into a season like this and a lot of things are going on in your mind. Hoping. You’d be crazy if you said you never thought about the deal throughout the year. So, I’m grateful we were able to get it done now. And now, just move on and worry about winning and getting our team to the next level.”
Brandon Hagel is a 5-year veteran of the NHL. Hagel was a 6th round pick by the Buffalo Sabres in 2016. However, Hagel and the Sabres never agreed to contract terms and Buffalo would lose draft rights in 2018. Hagel would then sign a deal as a free agent with the Chicago Blackhawks in October of 2018. After his last season in the WHL, Hagel spent the vast majority of the 2019-2020 season with the Rockford IceHogs. Hagel saw his first NHL start on March 11th, 2020. Hagel played the next full season with Chicago.
Hagel played in 52 games, scoring 9 goals and 15 assists. The next year, he would play 55 games for Chicago, then was traded to Tampa Bay in March of 2022. Hagel played 22 games with Tampa Bay, then played in all 23 playoff games for the Lightning that season. Tampa Bay would win the Eastern Conference Championship that year but would fall in the finals to the Colorado Avalanche. Last year, Hagel played in 81 of 82 regular season games. Hagel had a career-high 30 goals and 34 assists, helping the Lightning into the 3rd seed in the Atlantic Division.
With the signing of Brandon Hagel, Tampa Bay has established depth at forward for the next few seasons. Brayden Point, Nicholas Paul, and Nikita Kucherov are all under contract until the 2026-2027 season. With the return of Hagel, the Lightning look to maintain their offensive prowess and make another run for the Stanley Cup this year.
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