– Michael Hage –
Toronto Jr. Canadiens (GTHL) | Centre | 2022 OHL Draft Eligible
Oakville, ON | 6′, 175lbs | April 14th, 2006
The Toronto Jr. Canadiens are a perennial powerhouse in the GTHL, and this year’s club is no different.
Leading the charge for the Jr. Canadiens in 2021-22 is none other than Michael Hage — an incredibly well-rounded centre who plays an excellent two-way game defined by its attention to detail and potency. In fact, not only is Hage able to devise and capitalize on high-percentage scoring chances in the offensive zone, but he is also capable of shutting down his opposition’s top players in his defensive zone — a skill set which combines to make him one of the top prospects eligible for the 2022 OHL Draft.
- Edge-work and Balance
- Shot Strength and Release
- Playmaking Abilities
- Hockey Sense
- Two-Way Ability
- Defensive Aptitude
The list of Hage’s strengths is long, and for good reason. Hage can seemingly do it all on the ice, whether he takes to it at even-strength, on the power-play or on the penalty-kill. Driving Hage’s play are his excellent skating abilities, as the youngster boats excellent edge-work, balance and acceleration on his blades. These capabilities allow Hage to create space from his opposition in the offensive zone, track them down in the defensive zone and protect the puck with ease when it is on his stick.
This ability to create time and space for himself affords Hage with ample time to create scoring chances or unleash his stellar shot on goal. Owing to his impressive vision and hockey sense, Hage can execute high-risk passes with relative ease and improve the play and productivity of his fellow teammates in the process. When Hage does decide to uncork his wicked wrister on net, it is remarkably accurate and has the velocity necessary to overwhelm opposing goaltenders before they have the time to react. Hage’s combined playmaking and goal-scoring abilities allow him to stand as a multi-faceted and therefore unpredictable player in the offensive zone.
Rounding out Hage’s game are the abilities he possesses which separate him from his the majority of his peers. As a centre, Hage is strong in the face-off circle — he wins the bulk of his draws and, therefore, helps to bolster his team’s time with possession. Moreover, as we touched on above, Hage is a detail-oriented two-way player. Sure, he is a lethal offensive player, but he is also a centre who doesn’t take unnecessary risks or neglect his defensive zone. He is aware of his defensive responsibilities and positions himself well in order to support his defencemen and facilitate efficient breakouts.
Areas for Improvement:
- Personal Strength
When it comes to Hage and areas in which he would do well to improve, there are few. As we’ve stated on multiple occasions, Hage is a very well-rounded player, meaning there are very few holes in his game. Like most players of his age, Hage would do well to bolster his personal strength in the years ahead — progress which will come naturally as he matures. If able to add extra strength to his growing frame, Hage will be able to transition to the OHL-level with ease and become even more difficult to knock off of the puck in the process.
At the end of the day, Hage has the skill and ability necessary to develop into an elite player at the OHL-level and beyond. His lethal offensive instincts, leadership, innate two-way play and natural ability to improve the productivity of those around him combine to make him a player worth watching for years to come. In fact, Hage’s game is eerily reminiscent of former Toronto Jr. Canadiens star forward Pano Fimis, who was chosen second-overall in the 2020 OHL Draft by the Niagara IceDogs. If Hage can follow a similar developmental path to that of Fimis, he will be well on his way to becoming a household name.