Originally written on The Rangers Tribune  |  Last updated 6/13/12

The hype surrounding Swedish-born forward Carl Hagelin began last year when the then-Michigan State Wolverine was tearing it up in the NCAA. Hagelin's powerful strides were a clear indicator as to how his speed was going to set himself apart from the competition upon making it to the NHL level. After about a month in the American Hockey League playing with the Connecticut Whale in 2011-12, Hagelin was recalled by the Rangers and neither side would ever look back from there. It was the team's smartest recall since Ryan McDonagh was brought up in the prior season, for an endless number of reasons. 

The Good: Carl Hagelin adjusted to the NHL game quicker than any rookie I've seen in a long while. In just his first game he was already having an impact on the ice that simply could not go unnoticed by the coaching staff, leaving them with no other option but to gradually slide him up in the lineup. Nothing fazes this kid, he will go into the corner with any opponent, he is not afraid to get hit, he can outskate any opponent and he's an incredible playmaker. Over the course of 64 games during the regular season, we saw all of that displayed by the 23-year-old in addition to much more. 

Hagelin's 14 goals and 24 assists put him at sixth on the team in scoring with 38 points, fifth among Ranger forwards and sixth among NHL rookies in scoring. Those numbers alone are impressive, but then you look at the way in which Hagelin contributed to the Blueshirts' bountiful success this season and he really becomes a player you cannot resist from keeping your eye on. He is an extremely skilled hockey player on both sides of the puck with confidence that will take him very far in this League. The best is yet to come from young Carl, which is frightening considering the damage already done in his freshman campaign. 

Plus, he has the next best hair on the team behind Henrik Lundqvist. 

The Bad: There aren't a whole lot of negative comments to be made about Carl Hagelin as far as the regular season goes. It did take him a little while to establish himself as a playmaker with his speed, whether that was his goal or not, and it did take him some time to learn when to explode with that speed and when to maybe hold back a bit. Then again, that is normally the case with all rookies, and as I said, Hags made those adjustments much quicker than most of his peers did in their first seasons. 

Hagelin was awfully quiet in the postseason, however, only recording 3 assists in 17 games. I don't think a three-game suspension thrown in there helped to establish any sort of rhythm, either, but we aren't here to make excuses. After the production the Rangers received from Hagelin during the regular season, they needed more from him in the playoffs to balance out the depth with the top scoring. I know, that's a lot to put on a rookie, but it's the truth. 

He'll learn with experience, and going all the way to the Conference Finals (plus Winter Classic, plus All-Star Wekend) this year was excellent for his development. 

Highlight of the Year:

 

Overall Assessment: With Hagelin's versatility in skills and ability to fit in fine with any offensive line, he's gearing up for a long and successful career in the NHL. This is a kid that will develop into a difference maker if he hasn't already, and will be helping the Rangers reach the Conference Finals for many years to come. It's unbelievable just how bright his future is. 

Report Card Grade: A

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Kobe will probably see time at power forward next year

Angels acquire Shane Victorino from the Boston Red Sox

Clemson's Swinney wants Notre Dame in a conference

Mike Pettine not ruling out Manziel as Browns starter

David Price won't rule out Red Sox despite testy past

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Bullying victim Jonathan Martin retiring from NFL

Why Jay Gruden may lose job if he can’t fix Robert Griffin III

Report: T.Y. Hilton wants similar contract to Dez Bryant

Norv Turner sees Teddy Bridgewater as top-five NFL QB

Report: Brady, NFL could be making 'earnest effort' to settle

Portland smart to take on Haywood, Mike Miller contracts

Nik Stauskas trolls Thad Matta

Will Smith fires back at former teammate Junior Galette

Sammy Watkins: It's a "problem" if Bills don't win AFC East

The most important quarterback in the game?

Boston Mayor Walsh refusing to sign Olympic host contract

Chris Johnson accused of smashing up Rolls-Royce rental

Astros’ playoff push prompts rescheduling of Taylor Swift

Answering the AFC East's biggest questions in 2015

Dez Bryant in 'financial distress' before signing new deal

College football's top 10 coaches on the hot seat for 2015

Was Gregg Popovich close to retiring last year?

Projecting the prospects in the Johnny Cueto trade

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Kobe to see time at power forward next year

Mike Pettine not ruling out Manziel

Galette appears to unload on Payton

Dez Bryant in 'financial distress' before signing new deal

Top 10 CFB coaches on the hot seat

Was Popovich close to retiring last year?

Kyle Busch continues historic run with Brickyard win

WATCH: Mike Trout HR lands in 'Trout Net'

With Cueto dealt, what's the market for other pitchers?

Report: Vlade Divac is against analytics

Pedro apologizes to Babe Ruth

Report: HOF won’t allow Seau’s family to speak at induction

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker