New York Rangers: Can Carl Hagelin Avoid The Sophomore Slump?
Carl Hagelin’s career started the day after Thanksgiving. From there, it shot up to the New York Rangers top line faster than the Swedish winger can skate. With the young Swede playing on the first line alongside veterans like Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik, he was able to put up good stats. In 64 games, Hagelin tallied 14 goals and 24 assists in his rookie campaign.
However, in the playoffs Hagelin struggled. He failed to tally a goal in 17 games. He only managed three points, which is the same amount of games he missed due to suspension, after his hit on Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson.
There is no denying that Hagelin has skills. He is only 23 years old, and yet is one of the fastest skaters in the NHL, if not the fastest. His speed also allows him to be excellent in chasing down pucks and causes him to wreak havoc on the forecheck.
After coming off a successful regular season, but horrible Stanley Cup playoff run, can Carl Hagelin avoid a sophomore slump?
The answer is no.
Hagelin, will start-off well with Gaborik recovering from shoulder surgery, however, when the 40 goal scorer returns Hagelin will get lost in the shuffle.
This is not entirely Hagelin’s fault, but the Rangers are stacked right now with forwards. This list includes, Richards, Gaborik, Ryan Callahan, Derek Stepan, Chris Kreider, and newly acquire forward Rick Nash. In addition, with Shane Doan still on the market and the Rangers still interested, Hagelin can be even further lost in the shuffle.
Carl Hagelin has plenty of skills on both the offensive and defensive side of the ice. He is young and still has a lot more learning to do before he reaches his full potential.
However, with the depth of forwards on the Rangers, Hagelin will see a lot less ice time, which will also reduce his production. With that, don’t expect to see him come anywhere close to the numbers he put up last year with the Blueshirts.