The subject of today’s profile is defenseman Robert Hagg, a young Swedish defenseman who has slowly been making his way through the MODO system in the last four years.
Age: 18 (Born Feb. 8, 1995)
Weight: ~200+ lbs
ISS: 23rd in April, now outside the top 30
NHL CS: Eighth among European skaters
Hockey Prospectus: 21st
Future Considerations: 24th
The Scouting Report: 20th
There are some slightly differing thoughts on Robert Hagg, but most scouts have him ranked somewhere around No. 20 to No. 25. He’s one of those guys who could be there when the Stars pick at the end of the first round.
Hagg is a big kid, standing 6’2” and checking in at 200 lbs, and is one of the more physically imposing guys in the draft.
Hagg is a pretty good all-around defenseman, but his upside on the offensive side of the ice is a big reason why he’s ranked in the top 25. He has a solid shot and has the ability to quarterback a power play with a little more seasoning under his belt. He’s a very smart player with the puck and is an excellent, agile skater despite his size.
His size lends him to play a physical game, and Hagg certainly doesn’t shy away from that aspect of the game. Dallas has added some solid physical players to the blue line in the past couple of seasons, and adding more size certainly doesn’t hurt.
The weakness in Hagg’s game in on the defensive side of the ice, which can be quite the conundrum for a team that desperately needs good defenders out on the ice. Hagg is good at clearing the net, but his defensive skills are below average against the rush, and he can really struggle against the quicker forwards.
Why Draft Him?
There’re a lot of things that are intriguing about Hagg’s game. His offensive upside and size should be enough to pique the interest of the Stars.
Dallas isn’t getting a lot of production from its blue line at the moment, and that doesn’t look to be changing any time soon.
Alex Goligoski has been the only consistent producer from the defense, but it’s mostly in the playmaker role. The second most points on the blue line after Goose is Robidas, and he won’t be here much longer. Dallas added some punch with Sergei Gonchar, but again, Gonchar is will be 40 next year and won’t be around very long. Throw in the aging Ray Whitney and an already bad Stars power play will soon suffer a big hit.
Hagg has the offensive upside to answer a lot of questions on the blue line. Dallas has a lot of defensemen in the pipeline, but no one really wows on the offensive side of the ice. Hagg would immediately be the best offensive defenseman in the system (provided Dallas doesn’t take one with its first pick) and could eventually quarterback a power play that looks to be in desperate need of some help very soon.
The defensive struggles are there, but they can certainly be worked on. He is good at clearing the net though, which is something Dallas had trouble doing for Kari Lehtonen last season. Even if he doesn’t get to be a solid defender, Dallas could easily pair him with a more defensive-minded partner.
Whatever the case, Hagg could eventually fill some holes for the Stars that are about to be popping up very soon, and I certainly wouldn’t mind picking him up at the end of the first round if he’s still sitting there.