The New York Rangers lost Brian Boyle this offseason, but replaced him with another Boston College Eagles alum: Kevin Hayes.
The Eastern Conference champions won the sweepstakes for the former Eagles star, announcing his signing on Wednesday.
Kevin Hayes was a part of Boston College’s 2012 national championship team, and in the 2013-14 season was part of arguably the best forward line in Eagles history alongside Johnny Gaudreau and Bill Arnold; the latter two are currently playing for the Calgary Flames.
Despite not finishing in the top three of Hobey Baker voting, an argument can be made that Hayes was college hockey’s second-best player last season behind Gaudreau, the award’s winner. He was second nationally with 65 points over the course of 40 games.
In New York, Kevin Hayes will join his former Boston College teammate, Chris Kreider.
Hayes was drafted in the first round by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2010 NHL Draft, but following his graduation from Boston College, Chicago was unable to sign him. He became an unrestricted free agent less than a week ago, and multiple teams were rumored to have been involved in the proceedings, amongst them the Rangers, Flames, Colorado Avalanche, and Boston Bruins.
It will not necessarily happen because of the way the Rangers offense is structured, but seeing Hayes on a line with Chris Kreider again could be a thrill for Boston College fans. Non-Rangers fans might be even more disappointed that he did not end up in Calgary, as the Flames could have recreated college hockey’s best line from last season.
Nevertheless, Hayes is a good fit for the Blueshirts and congratulations go out to him.