Jimmy Hayes has passed away at just 31-years-old. Hayes, who played for the Boston Bruins from 2015-2017 was found dead at his home on Monday in Milton, MA.
Hayes grew up a Boston kid, and it’s a known fact that the Bruins organization loves their hometown heroes. Hayes played 117 games for the Boston College Eagles. He finished his college career with 81 points (42 goals and 39 assists). He went on to be drafted 60th overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2008 NHL Draft. On June 26, 2010, the Toronto Maple Leafs traded Hayes to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for the 43rd overall selection in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
Hayes began his career in Chicago, playing his first-ever NHL game against the Detroit Red Wings on December 30, 2011. He then went on to play for the Florida Panthers during the 2013-2014 season.
The Panthers ended up trading Hayes to the Bruins in exchange for Reilly Smith and the contract of Marc Savard who was injured. Hayes’ very first NHL hat trick came as a Bruin, scoring on goaltender Craig Anderson during a game against the Ottawa Senators.
Hayes was bought out by the Bruins in 2017 and went on to play for the New Jersey Devils under a one-year contract. Then, in July 2018, Hayes signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He was later reassigned to their AHL affiliate, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
Hayes was a 6-foot-5 right-winger and was a tough presence on the ice when it came to size and grit. He is often remembered for his personality and a kind heart more than anything.
All of Hayes’ former NHL teams took to social media today to pay their respects to his legacy and impact, including the Bruins and Boston College, his alma mater.
The Hayes family is well-known and respected in the Boston community. His brother, Kevin Hayes, grew up with him in Dorchester, MA, and currently serves as an alternate captain for the Philadelphia Flyers.
All of the stories and memories that are flooding social media about Hayes are positive and heartwarming. The same theme comes from all of them: Hayes was a wonderful person with a great sense of humor as well as a phenomenal teammate, father, husband, and friend.
Longtime BC Eagles coach Jerry York told the Globe’s Matt Porter this morning, “Of all the kids I’ve coached, certainly in my top 5 as far as being enjoyable to coach, to hang in the locker room with. His off-ice contributions to our team, I marveled at so many different times.”
Hayes leaves behind his wife Kristen and his two young sons, Beau and Mac.
May he rest in peace.
Forever a Bruin.