Lightning sign Brandon Hagel to an 8-year extension worth $52 million

FILE - Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Brandon Hagel (38) skates before an NHL hockey game against the New York Islanders Saturday, April 1, 2023, in Tampa, Fla. The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed forward Brandon Hagel, Tuesday, Aug. 22, to an eight-year extension worth $52 million. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed forward Brandon Hagel to an eight-year contract extension worth $52 million.

Vice president and general manager Julien BriseBois announced the deal Tuesday. Hagel will count $6.5 million against the salary cap annually when the new contract kicks in for the 2024-25 season.

The soon-to-be 28-year-old had a career-best 64 points in 81 games last season, his first full one with the Lightning since they acquired him in a trade with Chicago. Tampa Bay gave up two first-round draft picks to get Hagel from the Blackhawks before the 2022 trade deadline.

The Lightning, who won the Stanley Cup back to back in 2020 and ’21, are aiming to keep their championship window open for years to come. This signing makes Hagel an important part of that quest.

Hagel joins fellow forwards Nikita Kucherov, Anthony Cirelli, Brayden Point and Nick Paul, defensemen Mikhail Sergachev and Erik Cernak and goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy as players signed for at least three more seasons.

He is earning a significant raise from the just over $2 million he’ll get this season. The Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, native who was originally drafted by Buffalo in the sixth round in 2016 has 143 points in 240 regular-season and playoff games.