The toast of the town following the 2016 Stanley Cup Finals, Hagelin was limited to just two points during last season’s playoff run, though the Swedish flanker saved face with an empty-net, Cup-winning dagger versus the Predators in Game 6. Injuries conspired with Hagelin’s propensity for warming the bench to cap him at 61 games in 2016-17, and he barely moved the fantasy needle with six goals and 16 assists over that time. Since the fleet-footed skater is on the books at a pricey $4 million annually for the next two years, the Penguins need to figure out how he can coexist with burgeoning talents such as Carter Rowney, Josh Archibald and Jake Guentzel. Hagelin has never eclipsed the 40-point mark in his career, and there’s certainly no reason to expect a random offensive outburst in the coming season. However, coach Mike Sullivan will surely lean on him as a penalty killer once again.
Pittsburgh GM Jim Rutherford ended Hagelin’s California nightmare when he acquired the speedy winger from the Ducks in exchange for David Perron and Adam Clendening on January 16 – a move that undoubtedly helped the Pens to a fourth Stanley Cup. Hagelin tallied 10 goals and added 17 helpers in 37 games after his arrival from Anaheim. He also potted six game-winning goals, the most by a midseason acquisition in franchise history. The Swedish winger ended up with a number of career highs thanks to the trade – 39 points, 84 hits and a 57.3 Corsi For percentage. An integral part of the HBK line with Nick Bonino and Phil Kessel, Hagelin has three years remaining on a four-year, $16 million deal. His dynamic forechecking ability sets him apart from other forwards, but he could also be good for 40 points or so in the coming season.
Hagelin came over to the Ducks in an offseason trade after recording 17 goals and 18 assists while playing in all 82 games for the Rangers in 2014-15. The speedy winger’s role in Anaheim will probably resemble the one he had on Broadway; he should provide secondary scoring from the second or third line while seeing plenty of time on the penalty kill. As his former coach John Tortorella once famously let the world know, Hagelin “stinks on the power play,” but his well-rounded five-on-five game and presence on one of the league's stronger teams suggests he’ll be enough of an asset in the plus/minus category to make up for his ineptitude with the man advantage. Hagelin is a plus-57 in four NHL seasons, and should be expected to contribute north of 30 points and 40 PIM after doing so in each of his last two campaigns.
Aside from his middling 33 points (17 goals) in 72 games last season, Hagelin finished second on the Rangers with five game-winning tallies. Now poised to claim a role on one of the team's top two lines, likely alongside Derick Brassard and Martin St. Louis, Hagelin may have a chance at breaking 50-point barrier this season if health permits. For now, the former University of Michigan star will likely remain a mid-to-late round pick in most standard leagues.
Despite spending most of the season on the Rangers most productive line with Derek Stepan and Ryan Callahan, Hagelin had a roller coaster campaign in 2012-13. After being shutout in the first seven games, Hagelin developed a knack for being in the right place at the right time, notching 14 goals in his next 18 games. Although he played in all 48 games and ranked fifth (10 goals, 14 assists) in team scoring, the speedster's offense was spotty throughout the remainder of the season and playoffs. Regardless, the brass decided to reward the Swede with a two-year, $4.5 million contract extension. Coming off surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder, the third year winger could be poised for a much more consistent season, if new head coach Alain Vigneault pairs Hagelin with Derek Stepan and Ryan Callahan again. More valuable in keeper leagues, he's a late-rounder and a gamble for annual re-draft leagues.
Hagelin posted a very strong rookie season as he tallied 14 goals and 24 assists in only 64 regular-season games to go with a plus-21 rating and two shorthanded tallies. Hagelin is an excellent skater, but it remains to be seen how the Rick Nash acquisition will impact Hagelin, who displayed great chemistry with Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik, but he will almost certainly be a fixture on one of the Blueshirts' top two lines. The 23-year old Swede likely won't be on as many fantasy owners' radars as he should be, and could represent great sleeper value in the mid-to-late rounds of drafts.
At age 23, Hagelin, who graduated from the University of Michigan, has been a steady developing Rangers prospect who could be ready to push for a roster spot. In all likelihood, though, he'll start the year in the minors.