The Flyers will try to sign Hayes, as the Jets look to restock their draft picks
Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer: The Philadelphia Flyers sent a 2019 fifth-round pick to the Winnipeg Jets on Monday night for the rights to pending unrestricted free agent center Kevin Hayes.
Hayes is coming off a career-high 55 points in 71 games with the New York Rangers and Winnipeg Jets.
New Flyers head coach Alaine Vigneault coached Hayes for four years in New York.
If the Flyers are able to sign him, he’d slot in their No. 2 spot and allow Nolan Patrick to develop in a No. 3 role.
Mike McIntrye: Made note of earlier that the Jets would be trying to recoup some draft picks. After the Hayes trade they are now back up to four – a second, fourth and two fifths.
Charlie O’Connor: Kevin Hayes is the second best pending unrestricted free agent center. Last season was really the only year that he really made an impact, and he may have trouble repeating that. There is risk attached to paying him big money.
Being able to sign newly acquired Hayes could benefit Patrick
Jordan Hall of NBC Sports: If the Flyers are able to sign Hayes, it could do wonders for Nolan Patrick’s development. Patrick has struggled at times during his sophomore season in the NHL. Hayes addition would put less pressure and responsibility on Patrick.
“I would suggest there are 27, 28 teams that would probably like to find a No. 1 or No. 2 centerman. It’s a hard thing to find,” Fletcher said in April. “Certainly if you can find a top centerman, I think any team should jump on it. We’ll certainly look, but Nolan has the capability of being a No. 2 centerman.”
Flyers could dangle their 11th overall pick, with odds increasing if they can’t sign Hayes
Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer: If the right deal comes up, Philadelphia Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher is not against trading their 11th overall pick in the first-round of the 2019 NHL draft.
“It’s early to be putting the odds on that happening,” said Fletcher, whose team has nine picks in the seven-round draft on June 21 and 22 in Vancouver. “This is the time of year you have more detailed and in-depth conversations with other general managers. We’d certainly consider trading our pick if can get a good player. I don’t think we’re looking to trade the 11th overall pick for a 31-year-old player with one year left on his deal, but if we can get a good player at the right stage of his career and with some term left on his contact, we’d certainly look at it.”
If they are not able to sign Kevin Hayes, one player they may look at is Toronto Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri.
Kadri has three years left a $4.5 million and would fit in nicely as a No. 2 center.
“I’ve traded first-round picks before,” he said. “They’re a lot easier to trade when you’re picking 22, 23, or 24 than we are at 11. Again, we anticipate some very good prospects still being on the board at 11.”
If the Flyers don’t trade the pick, Fletcher said they will pick the best player available regardless of position.