Chicago Blackhawks trade Brandon Hagel to Tampa Bay Lightning for haul that includes two first-round picks, sources say

The Chicago Blackhawks have traded forward Brandon Hagel to the Tampa Bay Lightning for a hefty return that includes two first-round draft picks, sources told ESPN.

The Lightning traded their 2023 first-round pick, their 2024 first-round pick, and 23-year-old forwards Boris Katchouk and Taylor Raddysh for Hagel and the Blackhawks' 2022 and 2024 fourth-round picks.

The first-round picks are top-10 protected, according to sources. Should Tampa Bay's 2023 first-round pick be in the top 10, Tampa will instead transfer its own, unprotected first-round pick in 2025 to Chicago. In the event both of Tampa Bay's 2023 and 2024 picks are in the top 10, then the Lightning will transfer their unprotected first-round picks in 2025 and 2026 to Chicago.

Hagel, 23, had a breakout year in his third NHL season with 21 goals and 16 assists in 55 games, with 23 penalty minutes. His 22.3 shooting percentage is the third highest in the NHL this season for players with at least 50 appearances.

He averaged 17:28 in ice time per game and played both on the team's power play and penalty kill. Hagel leads the Blackhawks in goals scored above average (13.3), per Evolving Hockey data.

Besides his play, what made Hagel such an attractive trade option is his contract. He makes just $1.5 million against the salary cap through the 2023-24 season, after which he is a restricted free agent.

The move is reminiscent of the one the Lightning made in February 2020, when they traded a first-round pick and prospect Nolan Foote to the New Jersey Devils for forward Blake Coleman, who had 21 goals in 57 games at the time. Coleman would go on to play an integral part on their back-to-back Stanley Cup championships.