ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF From 2011-12) –IceHogs winger Jimmy Hayes knows what it’s like to win a championship. He spent three years at Boston College and was a member of the 2010 title team.
“It was a thrill to play at Boston College. It’s obviously one of the better schools in the entire country both academically and when it comes to hockey.”
Hayes was introduced to the sport by his grandfather. Hayes developed as a skilled, young player that has notable hockey connections.
“I just got into it and my cousins are Keith Tkachuk and Tom Fitzgerald, so it’s kind of great ties there, so I think it just runs in the family.”
He was drafted in 2008 by the Toronto Maple Leafs. For Hayes and his family the success continued at the 2010 NHL Draft when his younger brother Kevin was selected in the first round by the Blackkhawks. General Manager Stan Bowman made the pick.
“With the 24th pick the Chicago Blackhawks are proud to select Kevin Hayes.”
“We’re really close,” said Hayes of his relationship with his brother. “We’re really competitive with one another, like friendly nature.”
The Blackhawks acquired Jimmy Hayes shortly after the draft. He saw professional action right away with the Hogs to close out 2010.
With the IceHogs he quickly saw the difference between the college game and the pros.
“Obviously it’s a step above and it’s just the pro game is a lot more controlled. It’s a lot less mistakes being made.”
With five assists already this season Hayes is also finding his hockey identity.
“I just want to make sure I’m a consistent player, and I want to keep bringing an unbelievable effort every night. I’ve just got to work on that and make sure I’m a power forward and that’s my goals here so far.”