Robert Hagg - Comparables

Dave Reginek

Robert Hagg is 22nd in the consensus rankings, but he's another player about whom there is some division among the scouting community. Corey Pronman has Hagg ranked 21st overall and describes him as "a high-end skater, possessing an effortless stride and quick acceleration.... He has a great hockey brain, mobility, and solid physicality." But Hagg's consistency is a concern for many scouts. In late January, Craig Button said that Hagg is "a player who, at times, shows all the attributes of a top defenseman" and that "he is capable of being dominant at times." Not enough times, apparently, as Button saw Hagg fall from 28th in January to 30th in March to 36th in April and finally 48th overall in June. The Scouting Report was a bit more direct on this issue at the end of the season, describing him as "prone to inconsistency, which makes him a bit of a gamble."

One thing that's not in question is Hagg's offensive capabilities. He was Sweden's top-scoring defenseman at the U-18 championships with four points in five games, and finished second in points per game with 0.86 in the U-20 league back in Sweden. He wasn't, however, able to translate that offense to the Swedish Elite League, as a comparison with other defensemen drafted out of the SEL with one of the top forty picks in the draft shows:

Robert_hagg

Hagg scored just one assist in twenty-seven games, which is a pretty pitiful total for an offensive player, but the major cause of that is no doubt his very limited ice time. Hagg played just 7:46 per night in those twenty-seven games, and one would imagine that very little if any of that time came on the power play. Given that lack of ice time, it probably makes sense to look for comparables in the Swedish U-20 league. In this case, a comparable player was someone who played his draft year in Sweden's U-20 league (minimum 20 games) and had a points per game rate between 0.77 and 0.94 (90% to 110% of Hagg's offensive production). In this case, I've also included any defenders with more than 0.94 points per game in their draft years just to see what "really good" looks like in that league.

Robert_hagg

It's a pretty interesting list because of how varied the draft position is for these players. Two of the oldest players didn't get drafted at all, but three (four if we end up including Hagg) were drafted in the first round. The results are pretty consistently ugly with one gargantuan exception. The only player on this list with more than ten career NHL games is Erik Karlsson... who won the Norris Trophy. For some of these players, there's still time to develop into NHL players (Adam Almqvist, for example, had a fine AHL season with Grand Rapids), but for many others, there probably isn't.

For a player with this statistical profile, I'd want to see a strong scouting consensus of quality to have confidence in his ability to become an NHL player. In Hagg's case, that consensus isn't there, and I expect that if I profile enough players before the draft, Hagg will fall out of the top thirty entirely on my list.

Next up this afternoon: Andre Burakowsky

Previously:

Introduction to Comparables
The Best Offensive Juniors Drafted 11-30

My Draft List:

1 - Nathan MacKinnon (Comparables)
2 - Jonathan Drouin (Comparables)
3 - Seth Jones (Comparables)
4 - Aleksander Barkov (Comparables)
5 - Elias Lindholm (Comparables)
6 - Valeri Nichushkin (Comparables)
7 - Sean Monahan (Comparables)
8 - Rasmus Ristolainen (Comparables)
9 - Darnell Nurse (Comparables)
10 - Anthony Mantha (Comparables)
11 - Max Domi (Comparables)
12 - Hunter Shinkaruk (Comparables)
13 - Ryan Pulock (Comparables)
14 - Alexander Wennberg (Comparables)
15 - Kerby Rychel (Comparables)
16 - Nikita Zadorov (Comparables)
17 - Josh Morrissey (Comparables)
18 - Frederik Gauthier (Comparables)
19 - Bo Horvat (Comparables)
20 - Adam Erne (Comparables)
21 - Curtis Lazar (Comparables)
22 - Robert Hagg

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