United States Hockey League (USHL)

Boston College Hockey Lands 2025 NHL Draft Top Prospect James Hagens

Boston College Hockey Lands 2025 NHL Draft Top Prospect James Hagens

James Hagens, in the running to be the No. 1 pick in the 2025 NHL Draft, committed to Boston College along with older brother Michael for next season.

Sep 21, 2023 by Chris Peters
Boston College Hockey Lands 2025 NHL Draft Top Prospect James Hagens

Boston College hockey has been on a bit of a recruiting heater the last two years. Head coach Greg Brown, in just his second year at the helm of the Eagles after taking over for Hockey Hall of Famer Jerry York, already has the top incoming freshman class in the NCAA for 2023-24. Now BC has landed the No. 1 uncommitted recruit in Long Island, N.Y. native James Hagens, who announced his verbal commitment Wednesday night in a joint Instagram post with his older brother, Michael. The Hagens boys will be heading to Chestnut Hill for the 2024-25 season.

James Hagens is currently a center at the National Team Development Program on the U.S. National Under-18 Team. A late 2006 birthdate, he is not draft eligible until 2025, but is among the players widely considered in the running for the top pick in the 2025 NHL Draft. 

He had 85 points in 60 games last season at the NTDP while helping the U.S. win the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and the 2023 IIHF World Men's Under-18 Championship. 

At the U17 Challenge, Hagens posted a staggering 21 points in seven games, which broke the single-tournament record by three points. Other notable U17 Challenge alumni include Jack Hughes, who had 15 points in six games at the same age, and Alexander Ovechkin who had 13 points in five games in his tournament. 

Hagens also was a standout performer at the recent World Junior Summer Showcase as he looked to make a strong impression for a spot with Team USA at the World Junior Championship in December.

Hagens is an exceptional playmaker with high-end vision and feel for how to create time and space. He has good skating ability and is starting to build strength. Currently listed at 5-10, 168, Hagens relies on his craftiness and abiltiy to process the game at a high pace. He has a smooth skating ability and creativity with the puck on his stick. He thrives as a setup man, but scored 33 goals last season and can get pucks to dangerous areas to be a goal scorer.

A big benefit for Hagens going to BC is that he'll be joined by bother Michael who was previously committed to Harvard University. Michael Hagens is a crafty defender who can move pucks efficiently. He had 26 points for the Chicago Steel as a USHL rookie and appears poised to make a leap in his second season with Chicago. 

For Boston College, nabbing a couple of key recruits just allows the rich to get richer. The Eagles boast the No. 1 recruiting class in the country for 2023-24 led by NHL first-round picks Will Smith (San Jose Sharks), Ryan Leonard (Washington Capitals) and Gabe Perreault, as well as Jacob Fowler (Montreal Canadiens), one of the top incoming goalies. 

The Eagles are likely to lose top forward Cutter Gauthier (Philadelphia Flyers) after this season to the NHL. Adding an elite talent like James Hagens to play down the middle should soften that blow substantially, especially if Smith, Leonard and Perreault are around for two years, which is certainly possible.

Boston College missed out on the NCAA tournament each of the last two years, which is certainly not the norm for that program. With the amount of talent coming into the program, it might be a while before that happens again.

You can catch both Hagens brothers in action the rest of this week at the 2023 DICK'S Sporting Goods USHL Fall Classic, streaming exclusively on FloHockey.