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Blackhawks' 2010 1st-round pick Kevin Hayes won't attend prospect camp without contract

Alexander Demianchuk / REUTERS

When the Chicago Blackhawks open their summer prospects camp Sunday, there will be one significant player missing: forward Kevin Hayes, drafted 24th overall back in 2010.

The two sides continue to negotiate an entry-level contract, and, according to Scott Powers of ESPNChicago, if a deal is not reached by Aug. 15, the 22-year-old forward will become an unrestricted free agent.

Hayes is considered a top prospect within the Blackhawks organization; as a senior at Boston College in 2013-14, he registered 27 goals and 38 assists with a plus-34 rating, and was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award. 

He also played for Team USA at the 2014 IIHF World Championship, scoring one goal and adding an assist in eight games.

Agent Robert Murray cited organizational depth as a factor in negotiations; based on the Blackhawks' current depth chart and the fact they're a contending team, Hayes would likely begin his professional career in the AHL if he signed with Chicago. 

Despite that, Murray said "Of course [Hayes] could still sign with Chicago," but the clock is ticking with just over a month left a deal to be reached. 

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