Kevin Hayes is like JT Miller in that they are both productive, young centers that are already acclimated with the system.
Hayes really bounced back in a big way this year. He finished last season as a scratch for playoff games. This year he put up big numbers and found a way to help contribute.
Money would be a great reason to promote Hayes. If Jeff Gorton can clear Stepan’s contract and put Hayes in his position, that would leave a good chunk of cap room to use elsewhere to improve the roster.
Kevin Hayes is naturally a right winger. He has played at center before and could do it full time. It’s important that the Rangers utilize their best players around their other best players. The New York Rangers have plenty of good wingers, and flexing Hayes in as a top center could benefit in a huge way.