Kevin Hayes might be the next great New York Ranger. This is a bold prediction to make, especially when you consider that he very well may spend the beginning of the season with the Hartford Wolfpack in the AHL. That being said, Hayes does have the potential to be a big and fast power forward who can often find the back of the net.
The 22-year-old Boston native was drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round, 24th overall. Playing for Boston College is where Hayes got his numbers and got noticed. Though Hayes’ numbers were not big like some team-mates, they were effective in giving the Eagles life in some games. He put up small numbers his first three seasons with BC, for a total of 17 goals and 67 assists, but last year was his break out year. Putting up 28 goals and 39 assists, last year was the year that gave Hayes a chance at the NHL.
So, what will Hayes bring to the Rangers? A spark. And a little bit of chemistry. Hayes’s size and strength can be a key to his play, and he could be a life line on the Power Play. Hayes played at BC with current Ranger Chris Kreider. That’ll feed the team with a little bit of chemistry, that is if Hayes makes the cut. I could see a line combination with the likes of Kreider-Brassard-Hayes, but then again Brassard will likely become the top center, or maybe Derek Stepan. There will be a lot of other guys playing for Hayes’ spot as well, it’ll be interesting who will be on the roster come September. However, if Hayes really wants it like he says he does and he fights for his spot next month, I’m confident that he can go out and take it.
But the question that concerns me most is, is Hayes ready? Many NHLers have come up too early in their careers and it has ruined them. But it also might be a good learning experience for the rookie. He’ll need to work hard if he wants to be on the team come October. The NHL season is approaching fast, and everyone will be playing hard. They all want the same goal, and I think that if Kevin Hayes can perform at the NHL level and strive, he’ll be valuable to this club and he’ll make it a bit easier to getting that beloved trophy, the Stanley Cup.
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