Late Friday morning, the Blackhawks announced that forward Brandon Hagel has been placed in COVID-19 Protocols, which means that he’ll be unavailable to travel, practice or play games until he has cleared those protocols.
According to the team statement, there are several factors that can land a player on this list:
- an initial positive test which remains unconfirmed
- mandated isolation for symptomatic individuals
- required quarantine as a high-risk close contact
- isolation based on confirmed positive test result.
As detailed above, this news does not necessarily confirm that Hagel has tested positive for the coronavirus. However, this likely means that Hagel will not be available for Saturday’s game on the road in Nashville. Hagel scored a goal in Thursday’s 4-3 loss to the Hurricanes, giving the rookie five goals and nine assists in 35 games this season.
Hagel was a sixth-round pick (159th overall) of the Sabres in the 2016 NHL Draft but never signed with that team, joining the Blackhawks organization on Halloween Eve in 2018. He made his NHL debut in the final game of the 2019-20 regular season but has earned consistent playing time in 2021 with his high-pace, uptempo style of play.
The Blackhawks have had as many as five players in COVID-19 protocols this season, dating back to late January/early February when Alex DeBrincat, Adam Boqvist, Nicolas Beaudin, Ryan Carpenter and Lucas Wallmark all had stints in the protocols. Carpenter was the last player to clear on Feb. 13 and the Blackhawks have had no COVID-related issues since.
Just another reminder that this thing is still not over.