Carl Hagelin was one of the pleasant surprises during the inconsistent year for the New York Rangers in 2013. Hagelin developed into a top-six forward and was used in many different situations.
Hagelin entered his first full season as a full time NHL player. Because of the lockout, Hagelin has still not experienced a full training camp and a full 82-game season. But he did not have to worry about being sent down to the AHL this year. Hagelin blossomed using his incredible speed to score goals this year. He played his best hockey when he was on a line with Derek Stepan and Rick Nash. I wouldn’t be surprised if this line is reunited under new coach Alain Vigneault.
Hagelin went through his own struggles this season as well. While he started the shortened season off right, he began to tail off in the middle part of the season. This could be a cause for concern because if he tailed in a 48-game season, there is no telling what might happen in a full 82-game season. However, Hagelin began to regain his form as the playoffs rolled around. He ended the regular season with 10 goals and 14 assists for a total of 24 points. He played in all 48 games and in all 12 playoff games.
Hagelin was one of the best playoff performers for the Rangers this season. He played his best on a line with Ryan Callahan and Stepan. He ended up with three goals and three assists for six points. His speed once again became a factor and he became a valuable penalty killer. The most memorable moment from the playoffs was when former coach John Tortorella said Hagelin “stinks” on the power play. This quote lead to so much scrutiny from the media. Eventually, Tortorella put Hagelin on the power play.
Hagelin is a restricted free agent who is at the top of the Rangers priority list. Once he is signed, he will be relied upon to be a top six forward and use his great speed to make plays again next season.