Today’s featured Minnesota Wild A-Z player is Drew Bagnall. He’s a 30 year old, 6’3″, 220 lb. left shot defenseman. Drew hails from Outbank Manitoba, Canada. Bagnall was drafted by the Dallas Stars in the 6th round, 195th overall, of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. Since that time he’s played in the NCAA, ECHL, AHL, and NHL. His NHL experience is a pair of games in 2010-11 season. He’s now property of the Buffalo Sabres organization.
Drew Bagnall’s pro hockey career has been mark by trades. Those trades started before he was drafted. In October of 2002 the draft pick rights for the pick used to select Bagnall were traded by the Dallas Stars to the Atlanta Thrashers for Stephane Robidas. Not a bad trade for the Stars. Robidas has accumulated 885 NHL games and 251 points as an everyday defenseman. 704 of those games were with the Stars over 11 seasons.
The next trade was in March of 2003 when those draft pick rights were sent back to Dallas along with a conditional pick in 2006 for Anthony Aquino. Aquino never had played a game in the NHL. Yet another trade, this one on March 8, 2004 saw Bagnall packaged with a 2nd round pick in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft and traded to the Florida Panthers for Valeri Bure. Bure was a veteran of 10 NHL seasons and 608 games. 2004 was his last season as he played just 13 games for the stars before retiring. That’s a lot of movement for a kid who had yet to play a game at the NHL level.
Bagnall started his road to the NHL with the Battlefords North Stars of the SJHL at the age of 17. Over three years with Battlefords the young defenseman would score 40 goals, add 89 assists, and pile up 700 Penalty minutes. Yes, that’s seven hundred minutes over three seasons. I think we can all figure our what Bagnall’s role on the team was. There’s a lot of fights in those three years of PIMS.
In 2003 after being drafted Drew Bagnall chose to attend St. Lawrence University of the ECAC. Drew must have been looking for an education in addition to hockey as the NCAA doesn’t allow fighting any more. Get into a fight and you’re out for the game and the next one as well. Bagnall spent four years at St. Lawrence located in Canton, New York. It’s a relatively small school with approximately 24oo total undergraduate students.
In his four years of NCAA hockey Bagnall totaled 140 games played, 19 goals, 53 assists, and just 235 penalty minutes. That’s just above his 233 minute a season average in juniors. Bagnall won two awards in his career at St. Lawrence, in 2006-7 he was chosen as ECAC Hockey Player of the Year and ECAC Best Defensive Defenseman. Drew Bagnall’s overall production dropped enough that he was a free agent coming out of college. He signed on with the Reading Royals of the ECHL, an affiliate of the LA Kings. He spent one season there before moving up the the Manchester Monarchs of the AHL.
Bagnall spent 2007-2010 with the Monarchs trying to crack the Kings NHL roster. Over those three seasons, 191 games, he scored 3 goals, added 27 assists with a total of 378 penalty minutes. It would seem Drew was back in his element, one where he could use his fists. He totaled 30 fights in his time with the Monarchs. Once he was invited to the Kings preseason camp and played in a handful of games dropping the gloves with a NHL caliber fighter in Ian Laperriere.
In July of 2010 Bagnall signed a one year two-way deal with the Minnesota Wild organization and was invited to the NHL training camp. He didn’t make the Minnesota Wild out of camp and became a member of the AHL’s Houston Aeros. While in camp however he did play some preseason games and fought some NHL talent in Tom Sestito and a career AHL’er in Ian Schultz.
This would be the season that Drew Bagnall would get the chance to play his first two NHL games. He would do it as a member of the Minnesota Wild wearing #42. Bagnall was called up on April 8th and played his first NHL game against the Edmonton Oilers. He skated 16:53 of ice time, had a -1 rating, and 2 penalty minutes in a 3-1 Wild victory. Bagnall would finish the regular season with the Wild playing against the Dallas Stars. In his final NHL game with the Wild he skated 9:08 and was a -1 with 2 PIMS.
July 1st 2011 Bagnall signed a two year two way deal with the Minnesota Wild. The team must have seen something they liked from his previous season in Houston. Drew seems to be destined to be a career AHL player. He hasn’t given up the NHL dream though. In July of 2013 he signed a two year two-way deal with the Buffalo Sabres. He was invited to camp and played some preseason games. Bagnall then spent last season with the Rochester Americans in the AHL scoring no goals, picking up 6 assists, and piling up 88 PIMS. Drew Bagnall is a tough guy, but in today’s NHL you need more to your game than a stone chin and a good right cross.
That’s it for today’s edition of Minnesota Wild A-Z. Coming up tomorrow we profile defenseman Keith Ballard.