The New York Rangers have signed restricted free-agent forward Kevin Hayes to a two-year contract the club reported on Friday. The news came just hours after the Rangers announced that team had come to terms on a four-year deal with restricted free-agent Chris Kreider. Both players were set for arbitration hearings today.
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) July 22, 2016
Hayes’ two-year deal is worth a reported $2.6 million, according to NHL analyst Aaron Ward.
Hayes, 24, played in 79 games with the Blueshirts this season, registering 14 goals and 36 points along with 30 penalty minutes. In the 30 games that Hayes registered a point last season, the Rangers posted an 18-6-6 record.
The 6-feet-5-inch, 227-pound center was originally drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks 24th overall in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. Hayes opted to play four years of U.S. college hockey with Boston College (Hockey East) and was teammates with Kreider on the Eagles’ 2012 NCAA National Championship team.
The Blackhawks’ rights to Hayes expired on Aug. 15, 2014, when he had not come to terms on a contract with the club within the allotted four-years from the team drafting the player. As an unrestricted free agent, Hayes joined Kreider in New York when he signed an entry-level contract with the Blueshirts on Aug. 20, 2014.