Kevin Hayes is headed to the Big Apple.
The Blackhawks' former first-round pick will sign with the New York Rangers after failing to reach a deal in Chicago.
Really excited to be part of the @NYRangers organization. Thankful for the family, friends and fans that supported me along the way.— Kevin Hayes (@KevinPHayes12) August 20, 2014
Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said last week that he felt the team offered the 22-year-old Hayes a "fair and generous" contract. Since he decided to not sign in Chicago, the Blackhawks will receive the 54th overall pick in the 2015 draft, per the NHL's Collective Bargaining Agreement.
"Unfortunately, (Hayes) felt it was in his best interests to become a free agent," Bowman said. "We are looking forward to the compensatory draft pick we are receiving and are focused on the excitement surrounding the start of training camp next month."
Jimmy Hayes, Kevin's older brother, was also a member of the Blackhawks organization before being traded to the Florida Panthers in the deal that brought Kris Versteeg back to Chicago during the 2013-14 season.
Kevin Hayes was selected 24th overall by the Blackhawks in 2010 draft. He spent his last four seasons at Boston College, where he tallied 44 goals and 88 assists throughout 142 games played.