The Blackhawks loaned their sixth forward to a European team Tuesday night with Brandon Hagel heading HC Thurgau in Switzerland’s second division.
The 22-year-old was the Blackhawks’ AHL MVP this past season, scoring a team-high 19 goals and ranked third with 31 points for the Rockford IceHogs. He made his NHL debut against the Sharks on March 11 in the last game before NHL paused its season because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He was a Black Ace for the Blackhawks’ playoff run in Edmonton, but did not play.
Hagel is the first non-European born player to be loaned overseas.
He joins fellow forward prospect Philipp Kurashev (HC Lugano in first division) and newly-signed free agent Pius Suter (GCK Lions in second division) in Switzerland. Matej Chalupa (Mountfield HK) and Michal Teply (BK Mladá Boleslav) are both in the Czech Republic’s top division, Czech Extraliga, and Tim Soderlund (Almtuna IS) is in Sweden’s second division.
All six players will play for their respective European teams this fall until Chicago’s NHL training camp begins. The NHL and NHL Players’ Association tentatively agreed to a Dec. 1 start date for the 2020-21 season, with training camps beginning Nov. 17 but commissioner Gary Bettman admitted during the Stanley Cup Final that the start of the season could be pushed back into December and even January.