CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks prospect Kevin Hayes is expected to begin negotiations again with the organization after the Blackhawks' season is complete, Hayes' agent said Wednesday.
The 22-year-old forward was selected by the Blackhawks as the No. 24 overall pick of the 2010 draft. He became eligible to sign with the Blackhawks in April after his senior season ended at Boston College.
Hayes' agent, Robert Murray, said Wednesday that Hayes still had not decided whether to sign with the Blackhawks. Murray said he and Hayes, who recently returned from playing for Team USA in the IIHF World Championship in Belarus, had briefly spoken since Hayes returned. Murray said he expected negotiations with the Blackhawks to begin after the team’s season ended.
Murray said Hayes accepted an invitation by the Blackhawks to attend Game 5 of the Western Conference finals between the Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings in Chicago on Wednesday. Hayes tweeted Wednesday: "Just landed in Chicago. Can't wait for game 5 tonight @NHLBlackhawks v the Kings."
Hayes was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, which is given to the NCAA's top player, and finished second in the nation with 65 points during this past season as a senior at BC. He had one assist and was a minus-2 in eight games for Team USA in Belarus earlier this month.
Murray previously said Hayes was in no rush to make a decision about his future because his collegiate season ended so late.
"There's no decision that he's not going to sign with Chicago," Murray said in late April. "I've tried to stress that with Chicago. That's not the intent -- because he hasn't signed yet, [he won't sign ever.] That's not the case."
The Blackhawks own Hayes' rights through Aug. 15. He would become an unrestricted free agent if he doesn’t sign with the Blackhawks.
Murray also previously said Hayes' decision would not be impacted by the Blackhawks trading his older brother Jimmy Hayes to the Florida Panthers in November. The Blackhawks had acquired Jimmy in a trade in 2010. He played 43 games for the Blackhawks over three seasons. He played 53 games for the Panthers this season.
"There's no issue, no problem," Murray said in April of the Blackhawks. "It absolutely has nothing to do with Jimmy. Chicago treated Jimmy fine. The trade probably helped Jimmy."