You Know Who’s On A Heater? Gavin Hayes

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You Know Who’s On A Heater? Gavin Hayes

Chicago Blackhawks

Last week I looked at the fantastic offensive stretch Seattle Thunderbirds defenseman and Blackhawks’ 2022 first-round pick Kevin Korchinski has had since returning to his junior club from the World Juniors. He isn’t the only pick from last summer’s draft that’s been hit lately. Forward Gavin Hayes has been on a tear as well.

On Saturday night I highlighted a huge offensive night for Blackhawks prospects, and Hayes was at the front of the list with three goals and an assist. He backed up that four-point performance with two goals on Sunday night for a six-point weekend.

Hayes, who turns 19 on May 21, was a third-round pick (No. 66) by the Blackhawks in the 2022 NHL Draft; he was selected with the second pick Chicago received from Montreal in the Kirby Dach trade (Frank Nazar was the other).

Over his past five games, Hayes has four multi-point performances and 11 points (eight goals, three assists). In fact, March 8 was his first pointless performances since the first of February; he has at least one point in 15 of his last 16 appearances and has 27 points (12 goals, 15 assists) in those 16 games.

Listed at 6-2 and 178 pounds, Hayes now has 34 goals and 36 assists in 61 games this season for Flint in the OHL. He’s second on the Firebirds behind Amadeus Lombardi’s 90 points (he was a fourth-round pick of the Red Wings last summer). Hayes has 17 points (8 goals, 9 assists) on the power play this season and has three short-handed assists as well.

As we look ahead to future draft classes for the Blackhawks — and we will because they have a truckload of picks in upcoming drafts — the only class we have to look at to see how the Blackhawks’ new front office evaluates talent is last year’s group. But the early returns appear to be solid.

Author: Tab Bamford

Tab is the Lead Blackhawks voice for BN. He is the author of two books about the Blackhawks, most recently "Chicago Blackhawks: An Illustrated Timeline" (Reedy Press, 2021). Find him on Twitter at @The1Tab