Blackhawks Take 18-Year-Old in NHL Draft

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    The Chicago Blackhawks, who unloaded several players from their Stanley Cup championship roster earlier this week, didn't replace any of them Friday night in the first round the NHL draft in Los Angeles.

    They selected 18-year-old left wing Kevin Hayes, of Dorchester, Mass., as their first pick.

    Chicago was slotted to make the final first-round pick, 30th overall, but dealt the selection at the last minute to the New York Islanders for the 35th and 58th picks. Those selections give the Blackhawks five second-round picks when the seven-round draft resumes Saturday.

    The Blackhawks also have the 43rd, 54th and 60th overall picks in the second round.

    Chicago picked Hayes using a selection they had acquired from Atlanta on Thursday in a multiplayer trade. In that deal, they sent playoff star Dustin Byfuglien, defenseman Brent Sopel, forward Ben Eager and minor-leaguer Akim Aliu to the Thrashers.

    In return, the Blackhawks got veteran forwards Marty Reasoner, prospects Joey Crabb and Jeremy Morin, and a second-round pick.
    The trade helped Chicago free up some $4 million of salary cap space.

    Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman didn't rule out the possibility of additional deals.

    "You don't know how serious some guys are, but there's lot of talk. We'll see," Bowman said in a video interview on the team's website. "A lot of our guys have been asked for, I'll put it that way."

    It's unlikely Hayes will skate in the NHL soon.

    Although he has an NHL physique at 6-foot-2 and 201 pounds, he plans to play at Boston College next season, where he'll join an older brother, Jimmy, who was drafted in 2008 by Toronto.

    "I'm just trying to take it day by day, year by year, Kevin Hayes said on the Blackhawks' website. "So I'll see when I get there."

    Hayes recorded a team-leading 25 goals and 44 assists in 29 games last season at the Noble and Greenough School near Boston.

    "He can handle the puck, he can make plays and he can score goals," Bowman added. "He's got a bright future. You've got to be able to skate and you've got to be able to play the game, but when you're bigger you have an advantage over other guys.

    Chicago has had luck with players taken in the second round and later.

    Norris Trophy winning defenseman Duncan Keith was selected in the second, 54th overall in 2002. Center Dave Bolland was a second-rounder, 32nd overall, in 2005. Byfuglien was taken in the eighth round, 245th overall, in 2003.