The Tampa Bay Lightning made a smart hockey trade early on Friday when they traded for Brandon Hagel of the Chicago Blackhawks. While they might have given up a lot on paper, the value is certainly there.
The Tampa Bay Lightning dealt Boris Katchouk, Taylor Raddysh and two first-round picks that are top ten protected for Hagel. Hagel is only 23 and is under contract for two more years after this season at just 1.5 million a year.
He is a difference-maker that the city of Chicago has fallen in love watching. He plays that playoff style of hockey that the fans in Tampa Bay are going to love watching and this move gives the Lightning a young player under contract for three-cup runs.
Just take a look at what Tampa Bay Lightning GM Julien BriseBois was thinking when they made the trade:
The Lightning gave up a lot, two first-round picks can definitely be a difference-maker for a franchise, but for the Lightning, they are all in on another championship. Tampa Bay now has another young difference maker in their organization on a good deal, and they still have their first-round pick for this current season around to make another deal.
Chicago also gave Tampa Bay two fourth-round picks as well. This really kind of eases the pain of the firsts a little as well. Assuming Tampa is competing their first-round pick was going to be near the end of the first anyway, now they are getting a little something back a few rounds later.
This is a good hockey trade. Tampa doesn’t have a lot of assets to utilize and they used a few players that weren’t really fitting in the future of the team, and then dealt a few firsts that they are banking on being late in the draft.
It was a hefty price, but the odds are definitely in Tampa’s favor that Brandon Hagel is going to be a bigger impact for the Lightning than their 2023 first-rounder will in the next few years, this team is in a win-now mode.