Kevin Hayes
Robby Sabo, ESNY Graphic, Getty Images

New York Rangers center Kevin Hayes had a hilarious reaction to finding out he wasn’t traded during the draft last night.

The New York Rangers entered the draft with 10 picks, leading to speculation the team may use some of them to move up in the draft. Some of the speculations involved center and restricted free agent Kevin Hayes having his rights traded as part of a move.

Although the Rangers did ultimately make a trade, Hayes was not involved.

The Rangers packaged picks number 26 and 48 to move up to pick number 22, a spot in which they selected defenseman K’Andre Miller. This was their second pick after taking Vitali Kravtsov ninth overall. Nils Lundkvist was the team’s third and final pick of the round, as he was taken with pick number 28.

Hayes was clearly excited about the fact that he was not traded, as he showed on Twitter the next morning. He tweeted a scene from the Martin Scorsese classic, The Wolf of Wall Street, to excitingly convey his feelings about remaining home.

The Rangers have five RFAs pending, including Hayes, so it’s possible Hayes still gets traded. In fact, ESNY’s Frank Curto lays out the possibility that either he or Mats Zuccarello will be traded before the start of the season.

Hayes is coming off his best season. He scored a career-high 25 goals to go with 44 points in what was a difficult season for the team. He developed into a strong two-way player who could be used in all three zones while also killing penalties.

However, the Rangers have a glut of centers on the roster, including last year’s first-round picks, Lias Andersson and Filip Chytil. With Mika Zibanejad locked in as the top line center and the team seemingly wanting to want to play Hayes, Andersson, and Chytil all up the middle, Hayes could be the odd man out.

General manager Jeff Gorton may ultimately decide it makes sense to move Hayes for a high return now than have him blocking Andersson and Chytil from both seeing important minutes at center, as the team obviously doesn’t want either of them on the fourth line.

But for right now, Hayes isn’t leaving and he’s quite trhilled about it.

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