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Photo Credit: © Nuccio DiNuzzo-USA TODAY Sports

Pilot’s Logbook 2018-19: Kevin Hayes

Kevin Hayes was a Winnipeg Jet for a little over two months.

The Jets traded for him on February 25, 2019 – trade deadline day – from the New York Rangers in exchange for forward Brendan Lemieux and Winnipeg’s 1st round pick in 2019 NHL Draft. It was the second season in a row that such a trade made for a guy to fill in the second line center role for the Jets, last year of course being the trade for Paul Statsny. Unlike Stastny though, this trade for Hayes was a bit different in that Hayes felt more like a consolation prize for the Jets missing out on Mark Stone who went to Las Vegas, and while there may have been faint hope the Jets would keep him beyond the 2018-19 season, the truth was Hayes was strictly a playoff run rental as there was no way Winnipeg could re-sign him this summer.

On June 3, the Jets traded the rights to Hayes to the Philadelphia Flyers so that they could maybe get a jump on signing the pending unrestricted free agent.

Kevin Hayes
12 – Center/RW
6’5″ / 216 lbs / Age: 27

THE NUMBERS

KEVIN HAYES 2018-19 WPG REGULAR SEASON STATS
Season GP G A PTS +/- PIM S S% TSA ATOI FOW FOL FO% BLK HIT TK GV
2018-19 20 5 8 13 -3 2 37 13.5 65 15:17 110 103 51.6 3 7 13 7
Career 381 92 137 229 28 100 715 12.9 1237 15:42 1872 2248 45.4 137 253 234 271

 

KEVIN HAYES 2018-19 WPG REGULAR SEASON ADVANCED STATS (5V5)
Cors Cors Cors Cors Fenw Fenw Fenw Fenw PDO PDO PDO PDO PDO Zone Zone
Season GP TOI CF CA CF% CF% rel FF FA FF% FF% rel oiGF oiSH% oiGA oiSV% PDO oZS% dZS%
2018-19 20 258.6 249 257 49.2 3.6 197 202 49.4 3.2 15 10.7 17 88.4 99.1 65.6 34.4
Career 381 5019.0 4489 4846 48.1 0.8 3399 3627 48.4 0.7 238 9.6 214 91.9 101.5 50.8 49.2

CONTRACT STATUS

As mentioned, Hayes is a pending unrestricted free agent come July 1. He had signed a one year deal with the New York Rangers worth $5.175 million last summer which got him to his UFA status. As an unrestricted free agent, which ever team holds his rights has exclusive negotiating rights to the player until June 27, at which time he’s free to negotiate with any other NHL club before making a deal official on July 1.

PLAYER’S SEASON IN REVIEW

The common feeling is that Hayes’ time with the Jets wasn’t nearly as successful as Paul Stastny’s was a year ago in the same type of situation, but the numbers suggest that there really wasn’t that much of a difference. The biggest contributors to the overall feeling of disappointment over Hayes likely is due to the super short playoff run the Jets had as opposed to last year, and the fact that Hayes wasn’t the same type of play-maker for Patrik Laine and Nik Ehlers as Stastny was.

Hayes has the body type to be a physical player, but it’s not really his style and he’s more of a pass-first thinking player which also didn’t mesh well with Ehlers who himself is a more nimble, faster playmaker who looks to make a pass before taking shots.

Hayes’ OT winner late in the season against Chicago is a great example of the type of player he could easily be on a regular basis – hard skating, go the net using his size to ward off defenders and use his hands to finish plays off – but just wasn’t for Winnipeg.

THE PLAYOFFS

The awkwardness of trying to get Hayes to be a fit in the second line continued into the playoffs and it was a slow failure to the point where Hayes was seeing minutes more worthy of a third line forward than a second line center while his time on the power play became almost non-existent. He was a bit of a square peg and Paul Maurice tried to put in a round slot. Wen that didn’t work out, Maurice simply seemed to push him down the lineup and not really utilize what strengths he had.

KEVIN HAYES 2019 PLAYOFF STATS
Season GP G A PTS +/- PIM S S% TSA ATOI FOW FOL FO% BLK HIT TK GV
2018-19 6 2 1 3 2 2 10 20.0 16 11:59 16 20 44.4 3 5 2 0
Career 40 4 9 13 -2 12 59 6.8 112 14:41 164 189 46.5 15 47 19 23

 

KEVIN HAYES 2019 PLAYOFF ADVANCED STATS (ALL SITUATIONS)
Cors Cors Cors Cors Fenw Fenw Fenw Fenw PDO PDO PDO PDO PDO Zone Zone
Season GP TOI CF CA CF% CF% rel FF FA FF% FF% rel oiGF oiSH% oiGA oiSV% PDO oZS% dZS%
2018-19 6 71.9 61 59 50.8 1.6 43 44 49.4 0.4 4 12.1 2 92.9 105.0 75.0 25.0
Career 40 587.1 543 526 50.8 0.2 373 359 51.0 -0.3 21 7.4 21 91.4 98.7 54.4 45.6

 

What We Said A Few Months Ago

“He does have size, but uses it more for leverage than rugged physical play. He’s a pending UFA this summer and it’s tough to see the Jets having the room re-sign him for the 5+ million he would likely ask for, so this is purely a rental type situation.”

Winnipeg Jets Acquire Kevin Hayes From Rangers

FUTURE OUTLOOK

Kevin Hayes is no doubt going to get paid. He’s consistently hung around the 20 goal mark in four of his five pro seasons and been a solid top six forward option. More to the point, at the age of 27, some GMs are going to still see him as a player with some possible upside which will likely drive his price up. It’s a price the Jets wouldn’t have been able to pay and maybe shouldn’t have even if they could have afforded it.

FINAL GRADE: B-