8:54PM: The Avs and Predators appear to be the top candidates for Hayes. (Haggerty)
7/21/14: 1:55PM: Florida may not be interested in Hayes and if not the favorites to sign him are the Bruins, where he is from, or the Penguins, where assistant GM Tom Fitzgerald is his cousin. Florida is/has been Hayes reported number one choice so that he could join his brother Jimmy. (CBC)
7/18/14 | 4:49PM: The Blackhawks are still hopeful that they can sign Hayes. (Chris Kuc)
11:37AM: It was reported yesterday that the Rangers are interested in former first round pick and pending college UFA Kevin Hayes.
Hayes had 27 goals and 56 points last season for BC, was a Hobey Baker finalist and a teammate of Chris Kreider’s for two-years.
He could be the Justin Schultz of this summer as he is a playmaking power forward and three logical choices for Hayes, if he becomes a free agent are (The Hockey News issue with Aaron Eklbad on the cover):
- Calgary because his linemates at BC, Johnny Gaudreau and Bill Arnold, are with the Flames
- Florida because his older brother Jimmy was traded from Chicago to the Panthers
- Boston because he is from the area.
Scouts feel that Hayes could step into the NHL next season and then develop into a top-six forward who has quick feet and a knack for the net. (SI)
His max cap hit, per the CBA, would be $900,000 but he could be eligible for performance bonuses that would take effect on the cap the following season. (SI)
The Blackhawks could trade Hayes’ negotiating rights or if he becomes a free agent, they would get the 54th pick in the 2015 draft. (SI)
Other teams that could have interest are Montreal, Colorado, Minnesota and San Jose. (SI)
Chicago holds his rights until August 15th.