The first big move from new GM Kyle Davidson wasn’t trading his veteran netminder or one of his veteran defensemen. It’s trading a player who has become incredibly popular with the fans: Brandon Hagel.
The Blackhawks have traded Hagel to the Tampa Bay Lightning with their fourth-round picks in 2022 and 2024 for forwards Boris Katchouk and Taylor Raddysh and Tampa’s first-round picks in 2023 and 2024.
Katchouk, who turns 24 on June 18, was Tampa’s second-round pick (No. 44 overall) in the 2016 NHL Draft. He has two goals and four assists in 38 games with the Lightning this season. He’s listed at 6-2 and 204 pounds and shoots left-handed. He has two years remaining on his contract after this season with a $758,333 AAV.
Raddysh, 24, was also a second-round pick by Tampa in 2016 (No. 58 overall). He has five goals and seven assists in 53 games with the Bolts this season. He’s listed at 6-3 and 200 pounds and is a right-handed shot. Like Katchouk, he has two more years after this on his contract with the same $758,333 AAV.
Raddysh was a teammate of Alex DeBrincat and Dylan Strome with the Erie Otters and had a 109-point season (42 goals, 67 assists in 58 games) with them as teammates five years ago.
Hagel, 23, has two more years on his contract with a $1.5M AAV.
For this to be the first big deal Davidson makes is significant. He told us he was going to create a team that had a specific direction, so moving an affordable, young forward with term means he’s going hard on the rebuild approach and not necessarily trying to make this a two-year fix.