This morning, Boston College hockey icon Jimmy Hayes tragically passed away at the age of 31.
Hayes played for Boston College from 2008-2011 before going pro and playing for the Chicago Blackhawks, Florida Panthers, New Jersey Devils, and his hometown Boston Bruins, as well as a handful of AHL teams. Hayes was followed to BC by his brother Kevin and his cousins Ryan and Casey Fitzgerald.
At Boston College, Hayes was a member of the 2010 National Championship team. He also won 2 Beanpots and 2 Hockey East Championships with the Eagles.
Hayes played a pivotal role in a number of BC games, including scoring the overtime game-winner in the 2011 Beanpot against Northeastern, and scoring 2 goals in 23 seconds (and celebrating with the John Wall) in BC’s 9-7 win over Yale in the 2010 NCAA Regionals. He left BC with 41 career goals and 81 career points.
Hayes was also invested in giving back. After his friend, former Boston College and Babson hockey player Corey Griffin, passed away in 2014, Hayes changed his number to 11 in Griffin’s honor. He also played in numerous charity hockey games, including the Comm Ave Classic, which raised money for the Travis Roy Foundation and Compassionate Care ALS.
As a player, Hayes was always fun to watch because it was so clear how much he enjoyed playing. And beyond his hockey career, it is Hayes’s personality that made him so beloved in his hometown of Dorchester, at Boston College, and throughout the hockey community.
Ask anybody about him, and the first thing they’ll tell you is that he was a great guy who was always ready with a joke and a smile. As Jerry York told the Globe’s Matt Porter this morning, “Of all the kids I’ve coached, certainly in my top 5 as far as being enjoyable to coach, to hang in the locker room with. His off-ice contributions to our team, I marveled at so many different times.”
Our thoughts are with Jimmy’s family, friends, and former teammates. His infectiously positive attitude will be missed by all who knew him.