College unrestricted free agent, Kevin Hayes, has chosen to play for the New York Rangers. Hayes was a first round draft pick of the Blackhawks in 2010.
He became a UFA on Friday after not being able to agree on a contract with the team that drafted him. The Rangers signed Hayes to a 2-year entry level deal.
Hayes wanted to be able to start in the NHL right away, and that wouldn't be possible with the Hawks, given their depth. The Rangers have a couple of holes in their bottom six.
A young, talented player, coming off of a Hobey Baker-nominated performance in his senior season is just what they needed to fill the void.
The Boston College standout may have also selected a team that was closer to his hometown in Massachusetts.
The Blackhawks did get a compensatory pick for Hayes, which should fall late in the second round next year.
Will more college players choose to spurn the teams that drafted them, so that they can choose a team for their convenience? If that trend continues, it will have a drastic affect on the NHL Draft, college hockey, and even the CHL.
Teams will choose players more carefully, and will be more apt to select CHL players who they can get under contract right away, rather than wait until they finish college.