Name: Carl Hagelin
Position: Left Wing
Age: 29 (30 on 8/23/2018)
2017-18 Stats: GP: 81, G: 10, A: 21, P: 31
Playoffs: GP: 9, G: 2, A: 1, P: 3
“He’s a $4 million penalty-killer!”
“His speed is why we need him!”
The fact of the matter is, Carl Hagelin had his best season as a Penguin in 2017-18.
And say what you will about his contract and his production in return, but Hagelin was a second line staple with Evgeni Malkin and a combination of Phil Kessel or Patric Hornqvist. The image below charts Hagelin’s linemates at even strength in percentage form.
Hagelin and Fancy Stats
I never really knew how much Hagelin drove possession for his team until I looked at the numbers. His possession metrics have been pretty darn good for the entirety of his career and 2017-18 was no exception. Playing in 20 more games than 2016-17 and still maintaining an increase in CF% and holding steady on his FF% is quite the accomplishment.
Although oiGA (goals against while on ice at even strength) took a negative jump, his oiGF (same statistic, but calculates goals for) increased for a positive benefit.
Season Splits and Miscellaneous Stats
Hagelin, for whatever reason, enjoyed playing on Saturdays. This isn’t the first time in this report card series that the selected player produced his best numbers during this day of the week.
The other point of emphasis from these splits is the play the Swede produced from January onward. Weirdly enough, Hagelin mentioned this phenomenon in an interview with The Athletic. Our own Kaitlyn Dividock took it upon herself to examine post-Christmas Hagelin and what he brought to the table after Santa delivered the goods.
There’s simply no denying the numbers. While Kaitlyn’s article was published in mid-January, Hagelin finished the month out with a total of 8 points in 12 games.
February came, and Hagelin had his best month of the season. And in March, when the last big chunk of regular season games were played, Hagelin notched seven more points in 15 games played.
So, for those keeping score at home, Hagelin accumulated 25 points in the final 42 games of the campaign.
Long live post-Christmas Carl Hagelin.
Tweets and Praise
Carl Hagelin’s baby daughter. I’m actually pretty disappointed she didn’t come out with long wavy hair. I guess there’s still time. pic.twitter.com/TX5mwntaU5— Penguins Nation (@EngellandsEye) May 15, 2018
Carl Hagelin's closing speed on the PK is something you don't appreciate until he's not playing.— Jesse Marshall (@jmarshfof) May 4, 2018
Pittsburgh Penguins' Carl Hagelin celebrates his goal in the first period against he Flyers. pic.twitter.com/e4Ai7OPLVT— Peter Diana (@peterdianapghpg) April 11, 2018
Carl Hagelin with a brilliant steal and turned it into a breakaway short-handed *3-on-5* goal. #AfterChristmas— Seth Rorabaugh (@SethRorabaugh) February 10, 2018
Even Strength: C
The early season struggles are widely documented at this point. His second-half surge has also been discussed at great length. Should Evgeni Malkin’s main left winger be producing more than 31 points in 81 games? Yes. However, I’ll take Hagelin’s speed and possession stats to back up the claim.
Who else is going to slot into the top-six alongside Geno and give you massive numbers anyway? As the roster currently sits, Jake Guentzel is pretty much a lock to play with Sidney Crosby. Zach Aston-Reese is an unproven commodity and Dominik Simon is a bottom-six piece until otherwise noted.
Special Teams: B
Hagelin isn’t going to be lighting the lamp with the man advantage, but if Seth Rorabaugh’s tweet above is anything to go on, it’s that Hagelin is viewed as a top penalty-killer for the team. His speed adds a much-needed extra dimension for the the PKers other than shot blocking.
Hagelin only missed one regular season game, but was forced to watch three playoff games from the press box after a big hit from Claude Giroux in the first round series between the Pens and Flyers.
The aforementioned injury put a dent in Hagelin’s possible playoff production and penalty-killing presence. Three points in nine games is not ideal. Alas, Hagelin may never put up the same numbers he did two years ago with the now-famous H-B-K line, but stranger things have happened.
Overall Grade: C
FINAL WORD: At this point in his Penguins tenure, you sort of already know what you’re getting with Carl Hagelin: speed. And a moderate amount of points thrown in there.
With Hagelin in the final year of his contract, it will be interesting to see the approach both the player and organization take to a possible extension. The Penguins’ left wing depth is not great when comparing it to the other two forward positions.
Hagelin may be due for one last big payday in his career, but will the Penguins give it to him? Only time will tell.
How would you grade Carl Hagelin’s 2017-18 season?
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