Cranbrook Bucks announce first trade in franchise history


The BC Hockey League’s new expansion franchise, the Cranbrook Bucks, have announced the first trade in team history.

The Bucks acquired 2000-born forward Michael Hagen from Okotoks of the Alberta Junior Hockey League, in exchange for 2002-born forward Cale Sanders.

Hagen is a Calgary, Alberta product that spent last season in Okotoks, playing 50 games with the Oilers. He has also played six BCHL games, as an affiliate player with the Trail Smoke Eaters, back in 2018-19.

Like his new Bucks’ teammates Rhys Bentham and Zeth Kindrachuk, Hagen is a product of the Calgary Royals Athletic Association. After graduating from the Royals’ system, he gained junior experience in three different leagues, including the BCHL and AJHL.

His statistical history suggests that he has good offensive instincts, to go along with a strong amount of ability. His offensive statistics at each level along the way support that, as he has always been among his team’s leaders in offensive categories.

As for Sanders, although not officially committed to the Bucks’ roster for 2020-21, he was listed on the team’s extended training camp roster. The Claresholm, Alberta native spent last season with the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League. In 34 games with the Pats, he did not record any points.

Hagen’s road from Calgary to Cranbrook

From 2013 to 2015, Hagen played two seasons with the Royals’ U15 AA team. He racked up 40 goals and 45 assists for 85 points in 59 games played. Hagen also played one game with the Royals’ U15 AAA team in the 2014-15 season, contributing one assist.

Hagen spent the entire 2015-16 campaign playing U16 AAA for the Royals. His production included 18 goals and 33 assists for 51 points in 37 games that season.

For two seasons, from 2016 to 2018, Hagen primarily played for the U18 AA Royals. He recorded 42 goals and 49 assists for 91 points in just 55 regular seasons games. He added two goals and five assists in six games during a playoff run in 2016-17.

Over that same two-year span, Hagen also saw some action with the Royals’ U18 AAA team, in the Alberta Elite Hockey League. He scored one goal in seven regular season games and was held pointless in one playoff game, with the U18 AAA Royals.

In 2018-19, Hagen joined the Beaver Valley Nighthawks of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League. He totalled 15 goals and 39 assists for 54 points in 44 games. The Nighthawks’ playoff run that season allowed Hagen to add another six goals and 18 assists in 15 games.

Hagen also collected his six games worth of BCHL experience that season, scoring one goal as an affiliate player with Trail.

For his 50 games with the Okotoks Oilers last season, Hagen scored six goals and added 16 assists for 22 points.

What’s next for the Bucks?

After completion of the trade for Hagen, the Bucks’ roster is now at 23 committed players. There is also a handful of players on the Bucks’ reserve roster who will compete for a spot during the exhibition season.

While the exhibition schedule is already underway, Cranbrook’s inaugural season is beginning to take shape. The Bucks are playing a total of 12 preseason games between October 3 and November 27. Once the exhibition schedule is complete, the BCHL plans to begin its regular season in December.