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Free agent forward Kevin Hayes agreed to terms on a contract with the New York Rangers on Wednesday. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
Hayes was drafted in the first round of the 2010 draft by the Chicago Blackhawks. At that time, he was a student at Boston College. The NHL’s collective bargaining agreement gives a NHL team four years to sign a player, as long as he’s a college student during that time. After the player leaves college, the team must sign him by 11:59 PM on August 15 of that offseason.
Hayes became an unrestricted free agent on Saturday after a contract agreement couldn’t be reached. The Blackhawks will get the 54th overall pick in next year’s draft as compensation under the collective bargaining agreement, according to NHL.com.
The Rangers weren’t the only team that was interested in Hayes. The Boston Bruins, Nashville Predators, and the Colorado Avalanche were heavily interested in Hayes and were in the mix to land him, CBS Sports reports.
Hayes was a standout at Boston College. Last season, he had 27 goals and 65 points in 40 games, which ranked him second in scoring and points, according to ESPN. He had 44 goals, 132 points, and a plus-37 rating in 142 games with Boston College. Last season he was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award, for the most valuable player in college hockey.
Hayes will be a good addition for the Rangers. They lost one of their top offensive players Benoit Pouliot, who signed with the Edmonton Oilers in July. The Rangers have also added free-agent defenseman Dan Boyle.