24-Year-Old Right Wing – New York Rangers
Kevin Hayes Contract Information:
Signed a two-year contract with the Rangers in July of 2016 with an annual average value of $2.6 million.
Hayes is regaining the trust of Rangers coach Alain Vigneault in the early going this season, the New York Daily News reports. "I think he's coming along real well," Vigneault said. "Putting him out there (for) faceoffs in our own end, using him to kill penalties, thought he made a real good play the last game (Monday against San Jose) on the winning goal. He's helped us with his size on breakouts and coverage. For me, he's a young man going through the process of becoming an all-around complete player. I think he's learning from his first two years and he's trying to put it together."
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Kevin Hayes: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
After signing with the Rangers last August, Hayes impressed in his rookie year, posting 17 goals and 45 points despite mostly seeing limited ice time on the third line. On another team, the former Boston College star might now be centering the first or second line, but with Derek Stepan and Derrick Brassard locked in as the top two centers, plus a poor showing at the face-off dot last year, Hayes is a candidate to be shifted to left wing, where he might find top-six minutes and thus a scoring boost. If he gets consistent second-line minutes and additional power-play time, he'll be a good bet to deliver 60 points in his sophomore campaign.
Easily one of the Rangers' most explosive signings of the summer, the 6-foot-3, 205-pound former Hobey Baker Award candidate is not your ordinary college free agent. While the Boston College forward managed just two points in eight games with Team USA at the World Junior Championships, he's coming off a solid four-year career with the Eagles, registering 67 points (28 goals) in 39 games as a senior. Formerly the property of the Blackhawks after they drafted him in 2010, Hayes has a “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”-kind of vibe to him. We would certainly consider Hayes a dark horse to make the Rangers’ opening-night roster.
The 18-year-old Hayes will be playing with Boston College, the defending NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Champions, this winter. He was selected as the 24th overall in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. He had 25 goals and 42 assists while with Noble and Greenough School of Massachusetts in 2009-10.