Flint, Mich. – The Flint Firebirds announced today that forward Gavin Hayes, the Firebirds first-round (16th overall) draft pick in the 2020 OHL Priority Selection, has committed to an Ontario Hockey League (OHL) standard player agreement and education package with the club.
“We are happy to announce that Gavin and his family have committed to the Flint Firebirds,” said Flint Firebirds Vice President of Hockey Operations & General Manager Barclay Branch. “Gavin is the Firebirds’ first Michigan-born first-round draft pick and the first to commit to the Firebirds’ organization. He’s a strong skater that brings speed, skill and compete to our line up. He will be a great addition to the hockey club and has a chance of being a dominant player in this league.”
Hayes, a native of Westland, Mich., led the prestigious High-Performance Hockey League (HPHL) in both goals (16) and points (33) in just 21 league games with the Detroit Compuware U15 AAA hockey team this year.
“Finally putting the pen to paper to make it official with Flint was an incredible feeling,” said Hayes. “I know the work starts now but cannot wait to play for the Firebirds and in the OHL next season.”
The 6-foot-1, 160-pound skater placed third among more than 630 players at the U15 World Selects Invitational in Philadelphia, Penn. last June, recording 16 points (6G, 10A) in just nine games with Team East Coast Selects. In July, he was selected among the best American-born hockey players to compete at the renowned 2019 USA Hockey Boys Select 15 Player Development Camp in Amherst, New York. Hayes is a prospect eligible for the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. Hayes was tabbed as an assistant captain for the last two consecutive years with Compuware. He also tallied an impressive nine points in five games at the 2019 Chipotle-USA Hockey Youth Tier I 14U National Championships in Pittsburgh, Penn.
“It doesn’t really feel true that I was able to be drafted by Flint,” added Hayes after initially being selected on Apr. 4. “I never really thought this day would come. When I’ve been to Firebirds games in the past, you can tell the fans are really educated and into the game. The locker room was identical to a NHL locker room. I don’t really know how to put it into words. It’s every kid’s dream to play in the OHL and I’m glad to be a Firebird.”
HockeyProspect.com: Hayes is a skilled winger who plays a very strong all-around game. He plays fast and with a lot of energy and does great job leading by example. He is an incredibly hard worker and does not lose many battles. He has very quick hands and the ability to create offense on any given shift. He is strong skater with plenty of speed and quickness to skate with the puck. Hayes has a long reach, a strong center of gravity and is good at protecting the puck.
Hayes will wear number-29 for the Firebirds. Also of note, Hayes’ older brother, Avery, currently plays in the OHL for the Hamilton Bulldogs.
For all the latest information on the Flint Firebirds stay tuned to www.FlintFirebirds.com.
About The Flint Firebirds:
The Flint Firebirds are a proud member of the prestigious 20-team Ontario Hockey League. The OHL is one of three leagues that constitute the 60-team Canadian Hockey League (CHL), which is known as the world’s premiere player development league for the NHL. On NHL opening day rosters in October, 70% of NHL players were CHL alums. Since the Firebirds’ inception in Flint, Michigan five seasons ago, the team has produced 18 NHL signed or drafted players. More than 250 scouts representing all 31 NHL clubs attended a Firebirds game in Flint throughout the 2019-20 season. The Firebirds average nearly 3,000 fans per game at the newly renovated Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center, reaching over 100,000 fans each OHL season.
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Director of Broadcasting & Communications
Flint Firebirds Hockey Club