Red Deer Rebels Forward Brandon Hagel signed a three-year entry-level NHL contract with the Chicago Blackhawks.
He signed the deal Oct. 30th.
He will continue to play with the Rebels until the end of the season and then pick up the hockey stick for the Blackhawks in 2020-21.
The 20-year-old from Morinville will make an annual NHL salary of $925,000.
Hagel said representatives from the Blackhawks showed up in Red Deer and a few days later, he had signed an NHL contract.
“It happened really, really fast,” he said. “It’s surprising, to be honest, but I am happy that I it did.”
With 13 goals and 30 points in 19 games, Hagel is sitting third in the WHL scoring.
“I’ve been having a pretty good start to my year,” he said. “I love to win and when you have a loving team like you do this year, it’s fun.”
Hagel added, “It makes hockey better and the atmosphere and the fans. I think I put that into my game. I use my vision and things like that and things have been working out.”
The Chicago Blackhawks are a well-known team in the NHL.
”They have a ton of history so it’s a team that you know a lot about,” he said. “I’m excited to get down there and get things started.”
In other news, defenseman and Washington Capitals prospect Alex Alexeyev recently returned home after representing Russia in the CIBC Canada Russia Series. He was also named the WHL’s Player of the Week for Oct. 22nd to the 28th.
Goalie Ethan Anders was named the Eli Wilson Goaltending WHL Goaltender of the Week and league nominee for the Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week for the week ending Nov. 4th.
For the honour, the rookie goaltender helped his team defeat the Calgary Hitmen 1-0 on Nov. 3rd.
In the first period, he stopped 12 shots, six in the second and 16 in the third for the second shutout of his WHL career. Anders was named the first star of the game and the third star of the night in the WHL.
In the first home game in weeks, the Rebels take on the Kelowna Rockets at the Centrium Friday, Nov. 16th at 7 p.m.