Blackhawks prospect John Hayden still believes staying at Yale for senior season was the right choice

Blackhawks prospect John Hayden still believes staying at Yale for senior season was the right choice

When John Hayden participated in the Blackhawks’ prospect camp last summer, his course for the fall was already set. The Blackhawks probably had more opportunities for young forwards entering the 2016-17 season than in the past several years but for Hayden, playing his senior season at Yale was the best choice for him.

“Obviously all of us want to play pro hockey. That’s our goal. For me, it was just trying to take a step back and see the big picture and not take it too fast. I think I’ll really develop with one more year at Yale,” Hayden said in July. “Obviously it’s not easy, but the pros will still be there.”

Fast forward to the present day and yes, the pros are still here. With his senior year complete and his game developed a little more, Hayden is now among them.

Hayden signed a two-year deal with the Blackhawks on Sunday and made his debut the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night. Hayden, who the Blackhawks let take the first lap in warmups in honor of his NHL debut, logged 8:44 of ice time against the Senators. He landed the first of his three hits in his first few seconds on the ice.

His senior season at Yale was a successful one. Hayden set career highs in goals (21) assists (13) and points (34) in 34 games with Yale. For Hayden, there’s no doubt it was worth returning for that final season.

“It was an amazing experience this year,” he said in Montreal. “Obviously fell short at Harvard a few days ago but it was an incredible experience helping lead that team, especially the seniors I’ve been with for a few years now. I’ve been developing pretty steadily the last few years. I think coach [Keith] Allain has done a great job, so I’m very appreciative.”

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Quenneville said he sees the difference in Hayden from when he saw him in the summer until now.

“Not seeing him for a while and see him add more pace to his game. It looks like he can add an element to our team,” Quenneville said on Tuesday. “Over the last day or so, going over our systems, we’ll let him be aware how we play and what things to look for into the game. He’s a direct player and we don’t want him to change that too much.”

The pace of which Quenneville spoke was something Hayden wanted to improve over his senior season and he feels better about it now – not that he’s done working on it.

“It’s something I’ve been addressing every summer the last few years. Coach Allain plays a very high tempo game, so everyone year it’s helped me develop,” Hayden said. “That’s something that’s definitely come a long way, but something I still need to work on.”

Like many young players in the Blackhawks’ system, Hayden could have had a chance to make the team this fall. But going back to school, leading his alma mater one more season and improving his game, loomed larger. The opportunity that was there in the fall is still here for Hayden, and now he’ll see what he can do with it.

“I don’t want to play one game in the NHL. I want to have a long career. I think that’s part of the reason why I’ve tried to look at the big picture the last few years and understand there’s definitely a development curve,” he said. “I think was beneficial to be at Yale for four years.”

Celebrating Blackhawks hat tricks on National Hat Day


Celebrating Blackhawks hat tricks on National Hat Day

It’s National Hat Day – no better time to celebrate hat tricks in Chicago Blackhawks history.

There have been a combined total of 283 of them (263 in regular season, 20 in playoffs) since the franchise started up in the 1926-27 season.

95 different players have had at least one – including Gary Suter whose only hat trick with the Blackhawks came April 24, 1994 – in a playoff game.

The first hat trick in Blackhawks history was by George Hay on Feb. 19, 1927 – the 32nd game in franchise history. It was his only hat trick with the Blackhawks.

The Golden Jet, Bobby Hull had the most with 30 (28 in regular season, two in playoffs). He also holds the franchise record with four hat tricks in a single season, which he pulled off twice – 1959-60 as well as 1965-66. Stan Mikita is next with 16 career hat tricks (all in regular season).

On January 31, 1963, both Bobby Hull AND Stan Mikita (the first of Stan’s career) recorded a Hat Trick… one of seven times (six regular season, one in playoffs) that multiple Blackhawks tallied a hat trick in the same game. A pair of Blackhawks brothers – Max and Doug Bentley – each had a hat trick on Feb. 26, 1947. The last time a pair of Blackhawks scored three goals each was March 9, 2003 – Steve Sullivan and Eric Daze.

Of the 276 games in Blackhawks history in which a Blackhawks player had a hat trick, the Blackhawks have won 233, lost 30 and tied 13, including 7-0 when multiple Blackhawks accomplish the feat.

The youngest player in Blackhawks history to record a hat trick is Jeremy Roenick (19 years, 340 days) on Dec. 23, 1989. The oldest player in Blackhawks history to record a hat trick was Kenny Wharram (35 years, 267 days) on March 26, 1969.

Patrick Sharp is the only Blackhawks player to collect a hat trick on his birthday (Dec. 27, 2013).

Two Blackhawks have had a hat trick in a season opener

Bobby Hull          Oct. 23, 1965

Brandon Saad    Oct. 5, 2017

Three times a Blackhawks player had a hat trick in consecutive games (including once in the playoffs)

Doug Bentley     March 28-30, 1944 (playoffs)

Stan Mikita         Dec. 4-5, 1965

Brian Noonan    Dec. 27-29, 1991 (he scored four in the second game)

Two Blackhawks had a hat trick in the Stanley Cup Final

Pit Martin            May 10, 1973 vs. Canadiens

Dirk Graham       June 1, 1992 vs. Penguins

Improbably, the Blackhawks lost both of these games.

Denis Savard has a franchise record three playoff hat tricks.

Bill Kendall’s hat trick on Dec. 17, 1933, were the first three goals of his NHL career.

Many Blackhawks have recorded a Hat Trick plus one (a four-goal game) but only one has had five. Grant Mulvey on Feb. 3, 1982.

How many hats have been thrown on the ice as a result of Blackhawks hat tricks? That we’ll never know, but hats off to all of the Blackhawks who, by scoring three or more goals in a game, have made this hat trick celebration necessary.


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Hawks Talk Podcast: The 'Patrick Kane is Really Good' Podcast


Hawks Talk Podcast: The 'Patrick Kane is Really Good' Podcast

Despite an ugly loss to the New Jersey Devils, Patrick Kane once again stood out and proved he is still one of the game’s best players. Pat Boyle, Steve Konroyd and Charlie Roumeliotis debate whether Kane is having a better season than he did in 2016 when he won the Hart trophy as the league’s MVP and break down the Blackhawks’ much-improved power play – which Kane has dominated.

Plus, would Duncan Keith or Brent Seabrook be willing to waive their no-movement clauses and accept a trade outside of Chicago?

0:30 – Is Patrick Kane having a better season than his Hart campaign in 2016?

4:00 – Kane has single-handedly transformed the Blackhawks power play

7:00 – Kane gets it done no matter who is on his line or what the team’s circumstances are

9:15 – Why Kane could explode in next two games vs Rangers and Capitals

11:50 – Blackhawks power play scoring in six straight games

14:30 – No more Duncan Keith or Brent Seabrook on the power play?

17:30 – More concerned with depth scoring or lack of foot-speed by Hawks defense?

18:45 – Hawks can patch up some of those concerns in free agency

21:00 – What does this defense core look like next season?

24:00 – Would Keith or Seabrook be willing to accept a trade?

27:30 – Is it time to start using the word “tank” if it nets you Jack Hughes?

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

Blackhawks Talk Podcast


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