Kevin Hayes signs with Rangers: 'Everything going on there kind of fits what I was looking for'

Aug 20, 3:37 PM

The Kevin Hayes sweepstakes are officially closed, and the New York Rangers came out on top in the race to sign the Boston College standout. According to capgeek.com, Hayes' two-year contract - which will carry a $900,000 cap-hit for next season - is worth a potential $7.5 million, including $5.7 million in potential bonuses.

In an interview with BlueshirtsUnited.com, the 22-year-old explained his decision to sign with the Rangers amid a bevy of offers from suitors around the NHL.

“The coaching staff [in New York], everything going on there kind of fits what I was looking for,” said Hayes. “Just coming to New York will be a great opportunity for me and my family. Seeing how successful they’ve been the last couple of years was really a reason why I ultimately chose the Rangers.”

According to Rangers assistant general manager Jeff Gorton, it appears as though Hayes will have a chance to make a contribution right from the get go.

“He’s a big man that has all kinds of skill, nice hands, hockey sense,” Gorton said. “We just saw him as - once he became available - a guy that’s pretty close to playing. He has a lot of the things we’re looking for.”

Gorton added the signing helps the club re-stock the cupboard after trading away a significant amount of assets in recent years, specifically in relation to the Rick Nash and Martin St. Louis trades.

Hayes is looking to follow a path blazed by Chris Kreider, another Boston College forward that broke into the league with the Rangers - a notion affirmed by Gorton. 

"I think when Kevin was looking at the teams and he looked at the Rangers, I think he looked at the younger players we've had and we've inserted right into the lineup and have had success," Gorton said. "I think Kreider is one of those guys."

It should come as no surprise that Hayes's goal is "to be on the team come [October]"; if Kreider's path to the NHL is any indication, though, some AHL seasoning may indeed be in his future.

Feature photo courtesy of Kim Klement / US PRESSWIRE

Aug 20, 1:31 PM

Rangers agree to terms with college standout Kevin Hayes

Aug 20, 1:31 PM

The New York Rangers officially announced the signing of Boston College standout forward Kevin Hayes on Tuesday.

Hayes was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award as the top player in collegiate hockey this past season, and helped lead the Eagles to a national championship in 2011-12.

In 142 career games over four seasons with Boston College, Hayes recorded 44 goals and 88 assists for 132 points.

Hayes is expected to be at training camp next month competing for a roster spot with the Rangers.

Aug 20, 11:09 AM

Report: Rangers sign Kevin Hayes

Aug 20, 11:09 AM

After weeks of speculation and a few days on the free agent market, it appears Kevin Hayes has made a decision, according to Danny Picard of WEEI in Boston.

Moments later, two prominent hockey analysts teamed up to corroborate the report from a golf course in Ireland.

It's believed the Bruins, Colorado Avalanche, Calgary Flames and Nashville Predators were also in hot pursuit of the 22-year-old forward.

While not necessarily a high-end prospect, Hayes - drafted 24th overall by the Chicago Blackhawks at the 2010 NHL Draft - scored 27 goals and added 38 assists in 40 games at Boston College this past season, and also represented Team USA at the 2014 IIHF World Championships.

Hayes will add much-needed depth to the Rangers roster, and is likely destined to fill the team's third-line spot vacated by Benoit Pouliot.