The Chicago Blackhawks announced on Sunday morning that they have signed Yale senior John Hayden to a two-year contract after Yale’s season ended last night with a 4-3 loss to Harvard.
Hayden was a third round draft choice, 74th overall, by the Blackhawks in the 2013 NHL Draft out of the NTDP. The 6’3” power forward showed steady improvement in his statistics over his four-year run at Yale, culminating with a 21-13-34 scoring line in 33 games while serving as team captain for the Bulldogs this season.
The Blackhawks had made previous attempts to sign Hayden, but he opted to complete his schooling at Yale first. The signing is significant because Hayden had the option to become a free agent by not signing with the Blackhawks by August 15th of this summer.
The one advantage the Blackhawks had in negotiating with Hayden was the ability to burn the first year of his entry-level contract this spring, and it appears they will do so, with his two-year contract set to expire at the end of next season.
We rank Hayden as the 42nd-best NHL prospect in the NCAA this year.