Hayes Hopes To Have Found A Home Back In Boston

A rangy, north-south skater who goes to the net hunting for goals, Jimmy Hayes’ approach to hockey couldn’t be simpler. But the 6-foot-5, 215-pound winger has taken a serpentine path to reach his dream job.

Well traveled at age 26, Hayes has played in USA Hockey’s National Development Program, Under-17 and Under-18 international competitions, a Five Nations tournament, two World Championships, three seasons at Boston College, and has been the property to four NHL organizations.

JIMMY HAYES #11

Position: Forward
Shoots:
Right
Height:
6-foot-5
Weight:
215 pounds
Birth Date:
Nov. 21, 1989
Hometown:
Boston
College Hockey:
Boston College
USA Hockey History:
Played two seasons in the U.S. National Team Development Program (2006-07 and 2007-08) prior to attending Boston College. Represented the U.S. at the 2009 World Junior Championship and the 2014 World Championship.

He is hoping his current job as a top-nine forward with his hometown Boston Bruins is his last one for a while.

“The first couple of years I don’t want to say [were] a struggle for me, but I was just going up and down between the minors and the NHL, trying to figure out what you were,” Hayes says. “My biggest thing was try to learn [consistency] every night, or else somebody else will be knocking on your spot.”

ayes, who came to Boston in a July 1 trade with the Florida Panthers, and his 23-year-old brother Kevin of the New York Rangers, grew up in the Neponset section of Dorchester, the most populated of Boston’s 23 neighborhoods.

“I lived less than a mile from the Neponset [Devine] rink,” said Jimmy, who skated with his pals on Lake Archer in Wrentham, a flooded tennis court in Walpole, as well as on one near Noble and Greenough prep school where he spent his sophomore year of high school.

“My parents would drive me everywhere,” says Hayes, who considers the hockey community to be an extended family.

His real family includes former NHL players Tom Fitzgerald and Keith Tkachuk, Tom’s brother Scott Fitzgerald, the Bruins’ director of amateur scouting, and BC junior centerman Ryan, Tom’s son and a 2011 Bruins draft pick.

“All are cousins on my mom’s side,”  Hayes says.

Proud of his Beantown area roots, Hayes wears No. 11 in honor of his friend Corey Griffin, who died in a drowning accident in August 2014.

During his time at Boston College, Hayes won two out of three Beanpots and two Hockey East titles, sharing the last of those with Kevin, who attended BC from 2010-14.

“My brother went 4-for-4 [in Beanpots],” notes the elder Hayes, who chose the Eagles because he liked the fit. So did Kevin, who also won an NCAA Championship (2012) on the Heights.

“I think it was a little easier for him with me being there already, but that was the school that he wanted to go to, too,” says Jimmy, whose grandfather attended archrival Boston University.

By mid-November, Hayes was on pace for his first 20-goal NHL season, but his hometown team was 8-7-1 overall and had only won twice on home ice. Still, he finds himself answering for the Bruins’ uneven start during meet-and-greets with family, friends and fans.

“It comes with the territory, I guess,” Hayes says. “You’d rather go home and see your parents with a win, but now we’ll start establishing our home record.”

Mick Colageo covers the Boston Bruins for the New Bedford (Mass.) Standard Times.

 


YOUTH STAR

  Ryan Devald
  Age: 11
  North Tonawanda N.Y.

 
   Ryan Devald led his Peewee Minor Niagara Junior Purple Eagles team in assists, but he doesn’t just like assisting his teammates.

The 11-year-old is also a part of K-Kids, a program designed to develop character education opportunities as well as giving exposure to the concepts of community service and service learning. Picking up trash and making Valentine’s Day cards for elders are just a couple of the tasks Ryan has been involved in.

“It gives us an opportunity to do something that will help the community,” he said. “People started seeing what we were doing and asked for our help.”

The western New York native has also been awarded the Falcon Pride Award, which is given to top students that exhibit educational achievement, character and drive, and was selected to receive the President’s Award for Educational Excellence.

Ryan’s father, Jason, is proud of what his son does, on and off the ice. Ryan has shown a knack for killing penalties while leading his team to the division championship in the Western New York Amateur Hockey League.

“My goal is to be known for my team,” he said. “Not to be a person who gets a point every couple games.”

Issue: 
2016-01

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