Jimmy Hayes, a Boston College hockey legend, succumbed suddenly on August 23, 2021, at 31.
On Monday, the 31-year-old Boston College alumnus was found at his house in the Boston suburbs. According to a law enforcement officer, doctors were rushed to the site, and he was confirmed deceased. There were no more details provided.
The Toronto Maple Leafs picked Hayes with the 60th overall pick in the 2008 NHL Draft after scoring four goals and 15 points in 21 games with the Lincoln Stars of the United States Hockey League. During that season, he had four goals and nine points in eight postseason games.
Jimmy Hayes’ name has been linked with the Boston hockey scene as a Massachusetts native, a champion with Boston College, and two seasons with the Boston Bruins. Hayes went to Boston College from 2008 to 2011, after which he signed with the Chicago Blackhawks, Florida Panthers, New Jersey Devils, also his hometown Boston Bruins, and a few AHL teams. Hayes was accompanied to BC by his bro Kevin and his cousins Casey and Ryan Fitzgerald.
Hayes was a part of Boston College’s 2010 National Championship squad. With the Eagles, he further won two Beanpots and two Hockey East Championships.
Hayes was instrumental in several BC games, notably scoring the game-winning overtime goal in the 2011 Beanpot against Northeastern and netting two goals in 23 seconds (and rejoicing with the John Wall) in BC’s 9-7 NCAA Regionals win against Yale. He concluded his career at BC with 41 goals and 81 points.
Hayes was too enthusiastic about giving back. Hayes changed his jersey number to 11 in remembrance of his bud, former Boston College and Babson hockey player Corey Griffin, who died in 2014. He too partook in several charity hockey games, like the Comm Ave Classic, which collected funds for the Compassionate Care ALS and Travis Roy Foundation.
Hayes had one more goal-scoring solid season left in him in 2015-16 when he scored 29 points and 13 goals in 75 games. He appeared in 58 games the following season, scoring two goals and contributing five points before being released. He signed with the New Jersey Devils the next season, although he just appeared in 33 games, hitting three goals and providing nine assists.
Hayes was always entertaining to see as a player since it was apparent how much he liked playing. And it is Hayes’ attitude, not his hockey skills, that have made him so popular in his birthplace of Dorchester, at Boston College, and across the hockey community.
If you ask anyone about him, they would tell you that he was a lovely man, always there with a joke and a smirk.
Hayes, who retired in 2019, also had spells with the New Jersey Devils and the Florida Panthers. He co-hosted the podcast “Missing Curfew” with other NHL players Scottie Upshall and Shane O’Brien beginning in August 2020.
Jimmy and his spouse, Kristen Hayes, married in a ceremony in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, in 2019. Beau, 2, and Mac, three months, are the couple’s kids.
On Saturday, August 21, the couple celebrated Beau’s second birthday. Kristen marked the opportunity with an Instagram post in which she shared a snapshot of herself and Jimmy holding hands with their son.
Our hearts go out to Jimmy Haye’s friends, family, and old teammates. All who knew him will miss his infectiously lively demeanor.