It’s hard to find anything positive in the Rockford IceHogs' performances as of late. The team has not won since January 18th and they are midst of a four game losing streak, matching the team’s longest losing streak this season. To add insult to injury, all of the Hogs’ last four losses have come at home. If there is a silver lining to be found in the IceHogs’ current situation, it’s the recent production of Blackhawks’ prospect/signee Jimmy Hayes.
The 23-year-old, 6’5” - 210 pound, right winger, Hayes, has 7 points (4 goals, 3 assists) over his last four games. Overall, Hayes has 23 points (12 goals, 11 assists) in 42 games with the IceHogs this season. Hayes’ point total ranks him fifth amongst his teammates. He also leads the team in multi-goal games with four.
Hayes, who hails from Dorchester, MA, was selected in round 2 (#60 overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs. He’s a product of the United States’ National Team Development Program (2006-2007) and the NCAA. He played his college hockey at Boston College from 2008-2011. Hayes was acquired by the Blackhawks from Toronto for the 43rd overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
Hayes has played 31 games with the Blackhawks, all during the 2011-12 season, where he had 9 points (5 goals, 4 assists). He was recalled by the Blackhawks earlier this year, prior to training training camp, but was reassigned to Rockford shortly thereafter. Hayes is in the second year of a three-year NHL entry-level contract.
The IceHogs (20-21-1-1) next game is February 1st, when they travel to San Antonio to take on the struggling (18-22-0-4) San Antonio Rampage. The puck will drop at 7:30 CST.
The Rockford IceHogs are a professional hockey team that plays in the American Hockey League. The IceHogs are the Chicago Blackhawks’ top minor league affiliate. For more information, visit the team's official website at www.icehogs.com.
Chris Paxhia covers hockey in Chicago for examiner.com. You can follow him on Twitter at: @ChrisPaxhia25 or contact him at email@example.com.