Chicago Blackhawks fans can breathe easy as the team won’t be dealing with another Kevin Hayes type situation with the signing of Yale University product John Hayden. Welcome to the show Mr. Hayden!
While the Chicago Blackhawks were playing a very important game Sunday afternoon, the front office broke some exciting news. The Blackhawks have signed top college prospect John Hayden to a two-year entry-level deal that will expire after the finish of the 2017-18 season.
Hayden, 22, scored 21 goals and had 13 assists for 34 points in 33 games in his senior season with the Bulldogs for career highs in all three stat columns. His goal scoring was tops for Yale and his 21 lamp-lighters put him at 8th in all the NCAA.
Many worried that Hayden may go the way of past ‘Hawks prospect Kevin Hayes who didn’t sign an entry-level deal with the ‘Hawks and instead signed with the New York Rangers. With the Rangers Hayes has developed into a quality 30-40 point scorer.
The former 2013 third-rounder will provide the ‘Hawks with a big body that can put some greasy goals in at the front of the net. Hayden could develop into a presence in the locker room after serving as Yale’s captain.
Typically prospects signing entry level contracts sign on for three years, but because Hayden is 22 years old he can only sign a two year deal according to the Chicago Sun-Times Mark Lazerus.
Hayden is also a product of the ever-growing United States National Team Development Program (USNTDP). The program has started to churn out more and more quality NHLers like our very own Patrick Kane and up and coming American superstar Auston Matthews.
It would be unwise to predict Hayden produces like those two players have, but he could develop into a nice supplemental scorer who’s not afraid of doing the dirty work. To me his game is very comparable to current ‘Hawks rookie Ryan Hartman.
Blackhawks fans won’t have to wait long to see Hayden in an Indian-head sweater as he’s expected to join the team tomorrow and could play against the Montreal Canadiens for his NHL debut.
I don’t know about you, but I always love seeing new sweaters and hopefully Hayden fills one that can make a strong impact down the stretch.