Draft Retrospective: How Brandon Hagel went from unsigned prospect to top-six scorer
For the most part, little separates NHLers from AHLers.
That line is thinnest for depth forwards. Many AHLers could fill a fourth- or even third-line role in the right combination of structure and environment.
To avoid getting stuck in between, it's crucial for prospects to expand their games when they have the chance. That is, develop new ways to make an impact, giving themselves a better chance to be on the NHL side of the line.
There might not be a clearer example of that process than Brandon Hagel, who went unpicked in the WHL Draft and unsigned after getting picked in the sixth-round of the NHL Draft by the Buffalo Sabres, but still became an impactful NHLer.
Hagel continually improved, even when the production suggested otherwise. He maximized every opportunity given to him, pushing the limits of his game in the process. Now, he's a top-six scorer.
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