Kevin Hayes will become an unrestricted free agent at midnight on Saturday after not signing an entry-level contract with the Chicago Blackhawks, the team that drafted him with the 24th overall pick in the 2010 NHL draft.
“We offered Kevin what we believed was a generous and fair contract,” Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said in a statement.
“Unfortunately, he felt it was in his best interests to become a free agent. We are looking forward to the compensatory draft pick we are receiving and are focused on the excitement surrounding the start of training camp next month.”
Not all is bad for Chicago, though. It will receive a second-round pick in the 2015 NHL draft as compensation for losing Hayes.
Kevin Hayes is an NHL-ready right wing. Marian Hossa and Patrick Kane, among others, are in his way. This one seems pretty cut-and-dried.—
Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) August 15, 2014
As for Hayes’ future, there are several teams reportedly “in the mix.” That list includes the Boston Bruins, Phoenix Coyotes, Colorado Avalanche and New York Rangers, per Mark Divver of the Providence Journal.
Hayes, a 22-year-old right wing, tallied 65 points (27 goals, 38 assists) in 40 games for the Boston College Eagles last season. He spent the last four seasons at BC. He’s a Dorchester, Mass., native.