The milestone watch is officially on for Brandon Hagel.
The 20-year-old forward is on the verge of becoming the all-time leader in assists for the Red Deer Rebels.
Heading into Wednesday’s home game versus the Brandon Wheat Kings (7 p.m at the Centrium), Hagel has 159 career helpers – one shy of Justin Mapletoft’s 160 and two back of Arron Asham’s franchise leading total of 161.
It’s been an impressive WHL career for a player who came into the league undrafted.
“It’s definitely something special,” Hagel said. “I’ve been here four years and I love the city, love the fans. To do something like that in the city I love to play for, and with the way people treat me, it’s pretty special.”
The fact that he’s joined elite company atop the list of Rebels franchise scoring records is something that’s not lost on the Morinville, AB native and Chicago Blackhawks prospect.
“To be able to pass guys like that, it’s incredible,” he said of the likes of Colin Frazer, Colby Armstrong and Boyd Gordon – players he’s passed on the Rebels scoring charts this season. “There have been a lot of good hockey players who’ve put on the Rebels jersey over the years. You respect that and you respect so many people in this organization.”
Hagel says exchanging tweets with Asham was a pretty cool moment.
“He sent me a nice message over messenger, which was cool as well. Just to hear from those guys giving you some credit is awesome.”
Hagel is also poised to move another notch higher on the club’s all-time goal scoring list. With 92 career tallies he is just two back of Greg Schmidt for fourth-best in Rebels history. Hagel needs 20 goals to tie B.J. Young for third in franchise history at 112. Mapletoft scored 115 while Asham leads with 131.
If he maintains his current pace of 1.64 points per game Hagel would finish with 287 career points to move past Mapletoft (275) for second place on the Rebels’ all-time list and just shy of Asham who leads with 291.
Hagel has recorded 74 points (30 goals, 44 assists) in 45 games this season to lead the Rebels and sit fourth in league scoring.
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