Getting To Know You: Jimmy Hayes

Getting To Know You: Jimmy Hayes

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    JIMMY HAYES (# 10) – RW

    Player Facts

    Birthdate: November 21, 1989
    Stargazing: Scorpio
    Hometown: Dorchester, Massachusetts

    Size: 6-5, 210 lbs (team listing)
    Shoots: Right

    Acquired: Drafted by Toronto in 2008 (2nd round,  60th overall)
    Cap hit: N/A (unsigned)
    Signed through: N/A (unsigned)
    FA status: See note below

    Note: Negotiation rights for NCAA players who are under the age of 20 when drafted are held by the drafting team for either four years or until 30 days after college graduation, whichever comes first.
    Source: NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement, article 8.6(c).

    You May Not Know This, But …

    • Is a second cousin of NHL star Keith Tkachuk, and former NHLer Tom Fitzgerald
    • Grandfather taught him to skate when he was 2 years old
    • Set record physical training scores with the US National Team Development Program (NTDP)

    Scouting Profile

    Strengths

    Hayes skates quite fast for a big man.  He possesses an accurate shot, tremendous stickhandling skills, and above-average on-ice vision.   He is unafraid to drive to the front of the net, using his size to create screens and shake off defenders.  His work ethic has been spoken very highly of everywhere he has played.

    Weaknesses

    Although Hayes has very good foot speed considering his size, he lacks a smooth stride, and thus getting to his top speed can be an issue at times (ex-NHLer and 2nd cousin Tom Fitzgerald notes that he “skates hard”, a term coaches often use in reference to a choppy stride).  Although he is willing to drop the gloves when necessary, Hayes does not play as physical a game along the boards and in the corners as one would expect from a player with his size.

    Career Notes

    2006-07
    Playing with the US National Team Development Program, Hayes recorded 45 points (23 G, 22 A) in 56 games.  He was a member of the silver-winning US team at the 2007 IIHF World Under-18 Championship.

    2007-08
    Hayes’ endured a nightmare second season with the US NTDP. After posting a mere 8 points in 23 games, Hayes requested his release from the program, citing frustration with his play and a desire for a greater opportunity to develop his game.  He joined Lincoln of the USHL and seemed to regain his confidence with 24 points (8 G, 16 A) in 29 games.   Following the season, he was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs.

    2008-09
    Hayes has been brought along slowly in his freshman season at Boston College of the NCAA’s famed Hockey East, recording 13 points (8 G, 5 A) in 36 games overall.

    From The Grapevine

    I can’t say that I have too many contacts in the Boston area, but the coaches and scouts have all been very consistent in what they’ve had to say about Hayes:  his work ethic is unparalleled.  NCAA observers have suggested that his low numbers this season should not be read into very deeply; as a freshman in the NCAA, he does not see the same ice time he was used to seeing in the USHL.   As Hayes continues to adjust to the more physical style of the NCAA, and earns more ice time as a result, his offensive output is expected to increase dramatically.

    Notable Quotables: Tim Taylor, assistant coach, NTDP

    On Hayes’ passion for the game …
    “Jimmy has an unbelievable attitude, he is fierce competitor, he wants to score, he wants to be good.  He is like a sponge and as a coach, he takes in everything you say and is a quick learner.”
    (Hockey Journal)

    Notable Quotables: Jerry York, coach, Boston College

    On why Boston College was intent on recruiting Jimmy Hayes …
    “He’s a young man with a world of potential.  I think as he learns to play the power type game, he could have a really bright future. We’re thrilled he chose BC. We think his prospects are very, very bright.”
    (Boston Globe)

    Notable Quotables: NHL scout (on condition of anonymity)

    On Hayes’ strengths and weaknesses …
    “A character kid, with a good set of hands. For his size, no question, some impressive skills. But for 6-5, he tries to get away too often with skill and doesn’t use his body … We see him as a really raw kid, and if you’re patient enough, maybe something really good happens.”
    (Boston Globe)

    Notable Quotables: Jimmy Hayes

    On developing a physical game …
    “I used to be able to get away with playing all skill.  Being a big guy, I’ve got to use my body and size a lot more to my advantage. It’s coming. It’s coming along. It’s not completely there yet. It’s a big transformation.”
    (Hockey Journal)

    On the possibility of an NHL future …
    “My mind-set is, I’m here to play college hockey, and I’m really looking forward to it.  Whenever I am ready to play in the NHL, I’m sure the coaches will tell me it’s time to move on. And if that takes four years, it takes four years … no problem.”
    (Boston Globe)

    Video Highlights

    Interviewed at the draft, after being selected by the Leafs:
    http://mapleleafs.nhl.tv/team/console.jsp?catid=8&id=19361

    Showing some scrap to his game in the USHL:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgPEkMNY_-M

    In My Humble Opinion

    If Hayes can ever put it all together, he could become a very good player down the road.  It should be noted that prior to the derailment of his second NTDP season, Hayes was projected as a 1st round pick.  He has a rare skill set for a player his size, but whether he can get into the habit of using his size to his advantage on a regular basis remains to be seen.   If he can develop a physical edge to his game, he has an NHL future.   However, he is still two years away, minimum … probably three.

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