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Earlier on Friday, the Habs parted with three draft picks to move up five spots to 21st overall.  They weren’t able to move up any further but still landed a player they were targeting, selecting centre Michael Hage.


Shoots: Right
DOB: April 14, 2006
Height: 6’1
Weight: 190 lbs


Elite Prospects: 24
Future Considerations: 29
Daily Faceoff: 20
The Hockey News (Kennedy): 17
TSN (Bob McKenzie): 24
TSN (Craig Button): 21
NHL Central Scouting (NA): 10
Sportsnet (Cosentino): 20
Recruit Scouting: 13
Dobber Prospects: 16
Draft Prospects Hockey: 23
Smaht Scouting: 18
McKeens: 12


Scouting Reports

Scouting reports are taken directly from the source; typos were not corrected.

Hockey Prospect: Hage uses a strong combination of puckhandling, skating, and deception to make him one of the best multi-line puck carriers in the USHL. One really unique aspect to Hage’s game is his overall window of control. He has a wide skating base, he has a fairly wide puck control window, and boasts one of the largest pass-catch windows (maybe the largest) in the U.S. region. This creates a real problem, particularly for less rangy defensemen. It makes Hage tough to pin down when he’s moving at speed. Despite perhaps below average playmaking vision, he doesn’t take a ton of heavy contact.

Elite Prospects: To achieve his lofty upside, Hage must up the pace and add more playmaking. It’s not that Hage is a poor skater – far from it – but falls into the background as he waits for defenders to show vulnerabilities, instead of taking control. He has plenty of passing skill, but must get better at absorbing contact before passing off the wall and finding teammates sooner in open ice. Even if Hage never adds the next layer of pace and playmaking to his game, his improved checking skills could make him a thirdline centre.

Recrutes: “When the kid is going he’s a (high) pick. He’s got size, skill, offence but he’s on the second-to-worst team in the league,” said a scout midway through the USHL season. “I’ve seen him make high-end plays. I think he’s got good timing in the offensive zone but I think defensively it’s pretty poor right now. He loops away from plays and doesn’t get near the puck enough. He’d be a seven (out of ten) for offensive hockey sense and a four (out of ten) for defensive hockey sense. There’s a gap there.”

McKeens: Every year, there are a handful of prospects who are drafted and then immediately the following year, there are questions of why they weren’t drafted higher. Michael Hage could very well be one of those prospects. There’s little question that Hage was the best forward in the league in the back half of the season. Hage has everything you’d want in a centreman. He has good size at 6’ 1”, 190 pounds, is a terrific skater, has excellent work ethic in all zones, and he brings an impressive offensive game. He could be a similar style to Nico Hischier, a centre who stands out in every aspect of the game, especially in skating and two-way ability, but might not be the guy that the offensive drives through night in and night out.

DraftPro: A skilled top six forward who has some speed and is strong on his edges. Has very good hands and can stick handles around players and adjusts to passes that aren’t on the tape. Is able to drive up the wall or through the middle lane. Is a strong player with the puck on his stick and he can find the open lanes and get the puck through consistently. Is a highly skilled player who can take control of a game and dominate. Is an elite passer and he finds the seams routinely. can stop and start exceptionally well and doesn’t do flybys.

Corey Pronman, The Athletic: Hage’s playmaking and finishing are good enough, with a shot that can score from the faceoff dots, but neither match the caliber of his feet and hands. Hage has the potential to break open a game, but I do find his game to be inconsistent and too perimeter at times. He projects as a middle-six wing with a chance to be more.

Scott Wheeler, The Athletic: Hage is a natural center who has it all. He’s got pro size and skating, he’s got dual-threat skill as a shooter and passer, he’s naturally talented as a handler, he can create for himself or elevate a line, he plays hard, he stays on pucks, he battles, and he reads the game at an advanced level with an intelligent approach to the way he maneuvers around the ice. I like him in puck control/protection. He’s got detail and work ethic.

Upside Hockey: Hage is the type of player that makes his teammates better, and drives play. He’s equal parts scorer and cerebral playmaker, with top-tier advanced intelligence and vision, and a good shot with a deceptive release. Hage is an effortless skater, and extremely agile, with high-end skill. He seemingly attacks traffic, skating with his head up to scan for options, and can create something out of nothing in small spaces. Most scouts that have seen him play rave about his smooth stickhandling, and his wide array of 1-on-1 moves that he uses to slip in between attackers, and weave through traffic. He also has excellent lateral mobility, and will battle in the hard areas. Hage pushes pace, and has high motor.

Recruit Scouting: Michael Hage looks really good with the puck on his stick. He gets on the wing and attacks into the zone well. Needs more speed though… which makes sense with his injuries last year. He shows he’s aware of the space above the circles, but doesn’t cut through defenders enough to be effective. Still, his play with the puck on his stick is really exciting. However, he looks very disengaged off of the puck. Hage struggles to keep up with opponents and doesn’t play as physically as I’d like. He looks more eager to get the puck moving the other way than he does to fight to win it back. His on-puck will translate VERY well. His off-puck won’t.

Daily Faceoff: As far as pure centers go, Hage is one of the best available this year. I’d like to see him add more muscle mass, but I think he’s going to end up being one of the best prospects taken in the second half of the first round.

LWOS: A player who has seen an exponential rise this season has been Michael Hage. The young center with fluid and smooth skating. It’s not as fast as some, but it’s very refined, and effective. He is a wonderful transitional player, as he weaves through traffic with ease, due to his sharp edges. He also has a great balance, to help him protect the puck as he is in control of it. Offensively he is also a very flashy playmaker who sets up teammates with fantastic passes.


Hage is committed to the University of Michigan.  Accordingly, assuming he needs at least two years of development there, the earliest he could turn pro would be 2026-27.