Following the Rangers trade of Derek Stepan to Arizona, Larry Brooks wrote that there is no one with more pressure to "step up" their game than Kevin Hayes. (NY Post)
Alain Vigneault said recently that the Rangers feel that Hayes, along with Mika Zibanejad, both have more to give. (NY Post)
He said that both of them are "young players who have great upside. This is going to be a great opportunity for them to take on bigger roles and have more responsibility."(NY Post)
Hayes started more shifts last season in the defensive zone than he had in his prior to seasons and averaged 1:26 on the PK per game, 1:25 more than he did the season before.
For more on Hayes, click HERE.
Hayes, 25, is an RFA after this coming season and has a cap hit of $2.6 million.
Adam Rotter: There was tremendous improvement in Hayes' overall game last season, compared to his first two seasons, but the Rangers will need him to take another step as an overall player this coming season. He was strong in the first part of last season before his game slipped a bit down the stretch and into the playoffs but there was more than enough good with Hayes to believe he can/will continue to progress. He bounced back from a shaky second season with a, mostly, really good third season and the Rangers will need him to be even better and prove that he is deserving of a similar deal to the one that Mika Zibanejad signed.