The New York Rangers have traded center Kevin Hayes to the Winnipeg Jets for draft picks and an NHL ready prospect.
The New York Rangers continued to build for the future Monday, trading center Kevin Hayes to the Winnipeg Jets for a 2019 first-round draft pick, forward Brendan Lemieux, and a conditional 2022 fourth-round pick should Winnipeg win the Stanley Cup.
OFFICIAL: #NYR have acquired a first-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, forward Brendan Lemieux, and a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft from the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for Kevin Hayes.
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) February 25, 2019
The 26-year-old Hayes has played his entire career with the Blueshirts. He was originally a first-round draft pick of the Chicago Blackhawks at 24th overall in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
A five-year veteran, Hayes has appeared in 361 games recording 87 goals along with 216 points. His best goal scoring season came in 2017-2018 when he hit the back of the net 25 times along with recording 44 points that year.
Hayes and the Rangers couldn’t agree on a long term deal last summer and settled on a one-year agreement which would make him an unrestricted free agent at the conclusion of this season. The two sides never seemed to be able to find even ground which eventually forced the team to move the center to Winnipeg on Monday.
Brendan Lemieux, 22, was a second-round pick, 31st overall, by the Buffalo Sabres in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.
He has played in 44 games for the Winnipeg Jets this season recording nine goals with 11 points. The lefty forward averaged 7:01 of ice time with the Jets.
This move follows the trade of fan-favorite Mats Zuccarello on Saturday night. Clearly, the Rangers have been willing to move players in order to get younger and to obtain future draft picks as the team continues growing for the future.
The Blueshirts may not be done as it is expected they will move defenseman Adam McQuaid before the 3:00 p.m. ET deadline Monday.