Speedy Carl Hagelin is being given a good chance of making the New York Rangers this season off a stellar career at the University of Michigan and a solid showing with the Connecticut Whale in the playoffs in April.
But Hagelin had never attended the Rangers’ prospects camp until late June because of injuries the last two years. He prepped for the camp doing a lot of running and lifting weights with his brother in their native Sweden and felt fortunate to be one of the older players (22) after the standout career at Michigan. He co-captained the Wolverines to the NCAA title game in April, losing 3-2 in overtime to Minnesota-Duluth, and then spent three weeks practicing and playing regular shifts with the Whale after signing an amateur tryout contract.
“Playing for Michigan was pretty tough because of a lot of good players who are drafted, so I was kind of used to the tempo (in prospects camp),” Hagelin said at the Rangers’ training center in Greenburgh, N.Y. “There was always a good pace, but I was used to that. So it was kind of what I expected, but obviously the testing was a bit tougher than I expected. I wasn’t used to skating three laps in a row six times. You never really skate three laps in a game or in practice, so it was obviously good for your mental toughness and overall skating.”