Hayes had a shaky start in his opening preseason game against the Washington Capitals, taking multiple penalties, but he bounced back and scored two goals and one assist as the Devils enjoyed a 5-1-1 record.
He is the second former Boston Bruins right wing to sign with the Devils this off-season, joining Drew Stafford, giving the club some experience and depth on the right side of the line-up. Jimmy Hayes’ best years came in 14-15 and 15-16 when put up 35 and 29 points for the Florida Panthers and Boston Bruins respectively. The 16-17 was a rough year bringing in only 5 points and missing the playoffs after picking up an injury late in the regular season.
Hayes’ points tally isn’t going to encourage many Devils fans about this signing but the Boston native is only 27-years-old so there’s still some time for him to turn things around with the young and rising New Jersey Devils. Mostly filling a bottom six role, Hayes can bring his 301 NHL games experience to any of the young Devils he lines up with.
Just like the Drew Stafford signing it’s an extremely low risk move and for a guy who isn’t going to take ice time away from anyone who doesn’t play themselves into a role below Hayes.