There are several good storylines at this weekend’s prospects camp, but none may be better than the two brothers playing together for the first time before they do so again in college.
Kevin Hayes was the Hawks' first-round pick a couple of weeks ago when the NHL held its draft in Los Angeles. On Day 2 of the draft, as Hayes and his family were hanging out at the Staples Center, the Hawks made a surprise move by trading for Kevin’s older brother Jimmy, who was selected by Toronto in the second round in 2009.
“I couldn’t be happier,” Jimmy said of the trade. “I always dreamed of playing with him.”
Kevin echoed those words and now the two are wearing the same uniform for the first time. Both will attend Boston College this fall, where Jimmy already won a NCAA title.
Both wingers stand out immediately because of their size. (Jimmy is already 6-5 while Kevin stands at 6-3 -- though general manager Stan Bowman thinks Kevin will easily reach Jimmy’s current size by the time he’s done growing.) The Hawks gave up a lot of bulk this offseason so the brothers represent a chance to replace it, albeit not right away. Joel Quenneville also is enamored with size that can move with the puck. That’s Kevin’s game. The brothers understand the situation they’ve been brought into.
“It’s unbelievable putting on the jersey,” Jimmy said. “An Original Six team coming off winning a Stanley Cup. You can’t beat that.”
Kevin looks more agile than Jimmy and showed off some great moves scoring on a penalty shot during a scrimmage at the camp.
“[I] saw Patrick Kane do a move on YouTube about two years back and I’ve been practicing it so I’ll give all the credit to him,” Kevin joked.
They come from a hockey family--a second cousin is Keith Tkachuk--and now they can realize a dream of not only playing in college together but also potentially in the pros.
“We’ve been playing in a men’s league together on Tuesday and Thursday nights so we’ve been working on our chemistry a little bit,” Jimmy said.
Men’s league, to the NCAA, to the Blackhawks. Could be quite a story.