The New York Rangers have won the Kevin Hayes sweepstakes, per ESPN’s John Buccigross and TSN’s Ray Ferraro. Hayes, a highly coveted forward out of Boston College, became a free agent after he declined to sign with the Chicago Blackhawks, who drafted him in the first round of the 2010 NHL draft.
The Blackhawks have an embarrassment of riches that make it hard for any young wingers to make the team and play significant time. The deal works for both teams. Hayes gets to find a better fit and the Blackhawks get a compensatory draft pick down the road.
The Rangers were long rumored to be one of three or four possible destinations for Kevin Hayes, who played a full collegiate career at Boston College. Hayes played his senior season alongside Hobey Baker winner Johnny Gaudreau, who was drafted by the Calgary Flames in the fourth round of the 2011 draft.
— Ray Ferraro (@rayferrarotsn) August 20, 2014
The Flames, Rangers and Boston Bruins were all rumored to be top contenders for Hayes’ service, but the prospect of playing with former Boston College teammate Chris Kreider may have tipped the scale for Hayes, who brings size and offensive touch at right-wing for a Rangers team that needs more offense to make their next run at the Eastern Conference playoffs a little easier.