ST. LOUIS – On the eve of the NHL Draft, the St. Louis Blues have completed their first trade of the 2023 offseason.
The Blues have officially acquired forward Kevin Hayes from the Philadelphia Flyers. The Blues sent only a 2024 sixth-round draft pick to complete the deal.
Hayes had played 634 games over nine NHL seasons with the Flyers, New York Rangers and Winnipeg Jets. He finished with 18 goals, 36 assists and 54 points last year, just one point shy of his career-high.
A former first-round draft pick, Hayes has three years remaining on a long-term contract he signed with Philadelphia in 2019. The Flyers are expected to retain half of Hayes’ annual salary (around $3.5 million per year) for the remainder of his contract, according to The Athletic’s Blues beat reporter Jeremy Rutherford.
The Blues acquire Hayes several days after they had to put a deal on hold they initally agreed upon to add him. In a previous proposal, the Blues were expected to swap at least one defenseman with the Flyers as well. Based on several media reports, it appears Torey Krug prevented the original deal by exercising his no-trade clause.
The NHL Draft starts Wednesday, and the Blues are expected to pick 10th, 25th and 29th overall in the first-round if they don’t trade another draft pick.