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Feb. 27, 2012; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers left wing Carl Hagelin (62) celebrates with teammates after scoring on New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur (30) during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

Carl Hagelin Is The Real Deal

Feb. 27, 2012; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers left wing Carl Hagelin (62) celebrates with teammates after scoring on New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur (30) during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

Carl Hagelin may not get a ton Calder Trophy consideration this year but he’s making an extreme impact on this team this year. Ever since his call up he’s brought this team to a new level. His speed has made his line mates around him not even think about their game, they are just trying to keep up with him.

I knew if he kept playing the way he did when he first got called up he’d eventually find himself playing with the top line and look at him now. He’s a rookie being centered by an All-Star Conn Smythe winning center in Brad Richards, and playing his far wing is an All-Star sniper in Marian Gaborik.

I can’t think of rookie other than maybe Adam Henrique of the Devils, who has it any better than that. But unlike Adam Henrique who is sort of along for the ride (He’s a good player but Parise and Kovalchuk are studs), Hagelin is driving this line setting up the forecheck and getting the cycle game going setting up great opportunities. A lot of Brad Richards resurgence recently is due to Carl Hagelin (And Richards shooting the puck a lot more). He is sort of what Richards had back in Dallas in Loui Eriksson. Hagelin may not have Eriksson’s offensive ability yet but that aspect of his game is still developing.

I cannot be any higher on Carl Hagelin right now, and he is a semi-large factor in why the Rangers are in first place in the east right now. Hagelin to me easily projects to be a top six forward on this team for many years to come, and maybe will even drive players the Rangers have now out of New York a few years down the road. But that’s not a discussion for right now.

Be sure to follow me on twitter @Matt_J1.

 

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Tags: Adam Henrique Brad Richards Carl Hagelin Ilya Kovalchuk Loui Eriksson Marian Gaborik Zach Parise

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