Rangers need Hayes to step up in third season


The Blueshirts need Kevin Hayes to play up to expectations this season.

Entering his third year with the Rangers after signing in 2014 following a standout career at Boston College, the 24-year-old has tallied 81 career points on 31 goals and 50 assists.

After his impressive rookie season (17 goals, 28 assists) that saw Hayes finish seventh in Calder Trophy voting, many fans wondered why his numbers dipped in his sophomore campaign. His shooting percentage fell by 4.8% and his plus-minus dropped from 15 as a rookie to four between the two seasons.

Hayes, a 2010 first-round pick of the Chicago Blackhawks, must find a way to capitalize during his time on the ice. The 6-5 right winger saw his minutes rise modestly last season, which also increased his shots on goal by 22 from the previous year.

On the plus side, Hayes netted three power-play goals last season, up from one in his first season and tied for sixth on the team. With Derick Brassard, the Blueshirts’ top scorer on the power play a year ago, now playing for the Ottawa Senators, the team could use more special teams contributions from someone like Hayes.

 

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