Former NHL player Jimmy Hayes dies at 31

Former Devils forward Jimmy Hayes dies at 31

Former New Jersey Devils forward Jimmy Hayes has died, according to his alma mater, Boston College. He was 31.

Hayes died unexpectedly on Monday morning in Milton, Massachusetts. He was pronounced dead after first responders arrived at his home. The Globe reported a law enforcement official said the death is not considered suspicious, and the cause was not immediately available.

Hayes had 54 goals and 109 points in 334 games over seven NHL seasons, the last of which came with New Jersey in 2017-18.

“His infectious personality and easygoing nature were contagious to all who spent time with him,” the Devils said in a statement. “He had a tremendous ability to make everyone feel welcome. You will be missed, Jimmy.”

After being selected in the second round of the 2008 draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs, Hayes starred for his hometown Boston College and won a national championship in 2010.

“Boston College Hockey is heartbroken over the passing of Jimmy Hayes,” the school said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Hayes family.”

Following a trade from Toronto, the 6-foot-5, 215-pound right winger made his debut with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2011 and also played for the Bruins and Panthers.

Hayes last played professionally in the 2018-19 season with the minor league affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

He was originally drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2008 NHL Draft but never played for the team.

Before playing in the NFL, Hayes starred as a forward for BC, helping the team win the Frozen Four as a sophomore in 2019-10. He also played for Team USA on multiple occasions, winning silver medals at the 2007 Under-18 and Under-20 World Junior Championships.

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