April 30, 2012; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers left wing Carl Hagelin (62) handles the puck against the Washington Capitals during the third period in game two of the 2012 Eastern Conference semifinals at Madison Square Garden. Capitals won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

This Is A Big Year For Carl Hagelin

Last year Carl Hagelin made an immediate impact on the Rangers. It seems just as soon as he got his call up he became a vital part of the team. Part of this is due to the fact players like Artem Anisimov and Brandon Dubinsky were slumping and Hagelin got his shot on the team. He took his chance and ran with it and hasn’t looked back since.

Now Hagelin finds himself being a key player for the team and management expects him to put up some points this season. The hope is Hagelin won’t have to play in the top 6 this season to give him a chance to play against weaker competition. I’m on board with that notion, but I also think him playing with Richards and Gaborik was very effective last year. Hagelin has proven that he’s effective anywhere in the lineup.

With Dubinsky and Anisimov gone to greener pastures (that was a joke), Hagelin is going to have to step up and provide some offense for the Rangers. I think it will be tough for him to get power play time, but if he can score 40 points this coming season (If there’s an 82 game season) I think he would have done his part. Anything more than that is gravy to me.

It’s also up to Hagelin to stay consistent throughout the season. Last year as the season wore on he slowed down. Part of this I think has to do with the amount of games in the NHL compared to college. He played 64 NHL games last year plus 17 games for the Whale. That’s already close to double the amount of games he played at Michigan a season in his four years there, and I’m not even including the NHL playoffs. This time around, I think Hagelin will have adjusted to the pro game enough where he will still be effective every game.

Like I said this is a big year for Hagelin.

Be sure to follow me on twitter @Matt_J1.

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Tags: Artem Anisimov Brandon Dubinsky Carl Hagelin Rangers

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