Jets trade Hayes to Flyers for 5th-round pick

Kevin Hayes

Kevin Hayes

The Flyers traded for the rights of Winnipeg Jets center Kevin Hayes on Monday night for a 2019 fifth-round draft pick.

The Flyers have already spoken to Hayes' camp, although the conversation was only an introductory chat, according to TSN's Pierre LeBrun.

Hayes is due to become an unrestricted free agent this summer (July 1).

Hayes posted a career-high 55 points in 71 appearances in 2018-19.

Chuck Fletcher and the Philadelphia Flyers are getting things started. He was the second-best free-agent center, behind Matt Duchene, and will slot in as the team's second-line center.

In those first four seasons, Hayes played for new Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault.

Hayes, 27, was brought in to bolster the Jets depth down the middle and finished with five goals and 13 points in 20 games after the deal before adding two goals and three points in six playoff games in the opening-round series against the St. Louis Blues.

In four-plus years with the Rangers, he had 87 goals and 129 assists for 216 points in 361 games.

Hayes was originally selected by the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round, 24th overall, of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft and has recorded 92 goals and 136 assists over 381 career games in the NHL with the Rangers and Jets.

Yet Fletcher's aggressive move, for the small price of a fifth-round draft pick, allows the Flyers to start negotiations with Hayes now rather than with the rest of the league next month.