St. Louis Blues: Can Kevin Hayes Replicate his 2023 Performance?

Kevin Hayes is a veteran player who, by all accounts, has had a respectable NHL career. The one-time All-Star unleashed notable talent in the 2022-23 season, finishing with his best year to date. How can he replicate his past success?
Los Angeles Kings v St Louis Blues
Los Angeles Kings v St Louis Blues / Dilip Vishwanat/GettyImages

Kevin Hayes is expected to stay with the St. Louis Blues next season, but the impact of offseason changes on his future is unclear.

Hayes contract is not without its protective clauses, ensuring his rights as a player. However, this doesn’t mean that general manager Doug Armstrong is restricted from exploring potential deals involving Hayes, especially if they could benefit both parties.

Hayes has potential, as evident in 2022-23

For the 2023-24 season, Hayes finished with 29 points, making him the ninth-ranked St. Louis player in the total points column.

Hayes recorded 54 points with the Philadelphia Flyers the year before, an all-time high for his long career. His performance was highlighted by 36 assists and 18 goals, which helped  him earn an All-Star appearance.

A bit of a journeyman, Hayes put up respectable numbers in New York with the Rangers from 2014-2018, averaging a point total in the 40s.

Since then, his numbers have decreased outside of his All-Star year. He moved on to the Winnipeg Jets and Philadelphia Flyers and spent last year with the St. Louis Blues.

His base salary is currently around $4 million and will expire at the end of the 2025-26 season.

Hayes is only one season removed from a pretty incredible year. His salary was high for his production this year, but his ice time was also relatively low at 14:28.

Injuries were not a significant concern, as he suited up for 79 games, just two games shy from the previous year with the Flyers.

Can further chemistry help Hayes?

If Hayes returns, and he most likely will, team continuity can help him regain his previous potential. Another year under the books and learning from the coaching staff will most likely assist Hayes.

Locker room chemistry is a legitimate asset in the NHL, and Hayes will know more about the players entering the upcoming season.

There is no prediction that Hayes will emulate his success of 2022-23, but if he can, his usefulness on the roster will be noted.

Hayes has been consistent and respected throughout the league. With a team focused on the youth of prospects, players like Kevin Hayes can play a monumental role in mentoring younger players and contributing to team wins in crucial moments.