Jimmy Hayes, who played seven NHL seasons with four teams, has died. He was 31 years old.
Hayes was selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the second round (No. 60) of the 2008 NHL Draft but was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks on June 25, 2010.
Earlier that season, Hayes had helped Boston College win its second straight NCAA championship, scoring 35 points (13 goals, 22 assists) in 42 games as a sophomore, including getting an assist in a 5-0 win against Wisconsin in the title game. Among his teammates were New York Rangers forward Chris Kreider, Philadelphia Flyers forward Cam Atkinson and Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin.
“We are heartbroken to learn of the passing of Jimmy Hayes,” the Blackhawks said in a statement. “His warm personality made an immediate impact in the locker room and with our fans. We’re proud of the memories he made in Chicago, including making his NHL debut in 2011. Sending our thoughts and prayers to his family.”
Hayes turned professional following his junior season at Boston College and scored 109 points (54 goals, 55 assists) in 334 regular-season games with the Blackhawks, Florida Panthers, Boston Bruins and New Jersey Devils. He did not have a point in two Stanley Cup Playoff games, which came as a rookie with Chicago in 2011-12.
“Boston College Hockey is heartbroken over the passing of Jimmy Hayes. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Hayes family,” the school said in a statement.
Hayes last played in the NHL with the Devils during the 2017-18 season, when he scored nine points (three goals, six assists) in 33 games. His last professional season was with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, the Pittsburgh Penguins’ American Hockey League affiliate, in 2018-19.
Hayes’ younger brother, Kevin Hayes, is a center for the Flyers.