25-Year-Old Center – 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 (undisclosed) will surprisingly play in Saturday's game against the Senators, Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post reports.
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Kevin Hayes: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
One of the Rangersí highest-upside players, Hayes took a step back in his sophomore season, as his point total dropped from 45 to 36, disappointing fantasy owners looking for growth from 2010ís No. 24 overall pick. Heís got an uncertain future at center as a poor face-off man Ė especially with Derek Stepan and Mika Zibanejad ahead of him Ė so Hayes is going to have to play wing if he wants to see top-six minutes, and itís hard to see him winning those over the Rangersí other flanker options. A bounce-back to his 2014-15 level may be reasonable to expect, but Hayes isnít likely to experience a full-on breakout unless other Rangersí injuries create a long-term opportunity for him.
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 ďone manís trash is another manís treasureĒ-kind of vibe to him. We would certainly consider Hayes a dark horse to make the Rangersí 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.