The Blackhawks have signed forward Jimmy Hayes to an entry-level contract that begins in the 2011-12 season. The cap number is $654, 157.
Hayes, 21, is the older brother of Chicago’s top pick in the 2010 Draft, Kevin. He just finished his junior season at Boston College. Listed at 6’5 and 210 pounds, the Hawks acquired him in a Draft-day trade, sending a second round pick to Toronto.
He scored 21 goals and added 12 assists in 39 games for BC this year, and has joined the Rockford Ice Hogs. Ben Smith, who has been in Rockford all season, was a teammate of Hayes at BC for two years.
Despite his size, the knock on Hayes is that he doesn’t play physical enough. However, his stature should put pressure on power forwards in Rockford – read: Kyle Beach – and adds another talented youngster to the mix for next year’s roster. He showed great speed and a good finishing touch during the Hawks summer Prospect Camp.