Blackhawks resign a young forward from Yale, John Hayden
After a huge win this year, the Blackhawks are also making some big moves with possible playoff implications. The Hawks have agreed to a contract with forward John Hayden for two years. Joel Quenneville curiously said after the game that the third-round draft choice will get an opportunity to play this season for the Blackhawks. John Hayden is only 22 and just finished up his senior year at Yale. This year he posted career highs in of goals with 21, and 13 assists in 33 games. “He’s a hard-working type of guy,” Quenneville said, “one of those guys along the wall, in front of the net who has some physicality to his game (and) greasiness at the net. We’re looking forward to seeing how he handles it up here and how he fits in. He gives us some size and aggressiveness.”
Could be the big body the Hawks need
John Hayden, if he lives up to his hype could be a big player during the Hawks post season. He is widely considered an almost NHL-ready prospect. John will only get a cup of coffee in the AHL before joining the Blackhawks before the playoffs. The 6’3″, 223-pound Hayden would have been a free agent if they had not signed him by mid-August. He was a 2017 Hobey Baker Award finalist for the NCAA’s top hockey player. The Chicago Blackhawks initially drafted him with the 74th pick in the 2013 draft. Joel Quenneville’s big picture is getting him for the playoffs. He would rather bring John up than sign free agents at the end of the year.
What Hayden brings to the table
Being drafted in 2013, John has seen some good improvement during his tenure at Yale. During his freshman year John put together a 16-point season scoring only 6 goals. Showing good development while on the team his senior season he has scored 21 goals with 34 total points. John Hayden finished his senior season tied for eighth in all Division I hockey in goals scored, and finished tied for 59th in point leaders. His most impressive stat is that 12 of his 21 goals are coming off power plays. That is tied for fifth nationally in all of college hockey. Another fun thing is we will get to watch him shoot the puck, a lot. John Hayden shoots an average of 5.3 per game. Compared to other players at Yale, John shot 174 times on goal, the next closest player only had 84 shots.