Friday, April 5, 2013
The 6-foot-4, 210-pound right wing signed a two-year, two-way deal that, according to reports, is above the entry-level contract because of his age (24, 25 in July).
Reached on Friday, Hayes said there were at least two other teams vying for his services when the season ended but the sharks were "the best fit." "That's where I felt most confident," he said." It's a great organization. I'm really happy to have picked them."
Hayes, MSU's co-captain, said he didn't think much about a pro contract until MSU's season ended last week in the NCAA Midwest Regional in Toledo, Ohio.
"I had my mind on the guys and the team as a whole," he said.
Hayes had his best season as a senior, scoring a team-high 20 goals, including 13 on the power play (second in the nation). He led the country with 185 shots on goal. According to MSU coach Mike Hastings, Hayes developed his overall game and became a better, more-consistent and more-disciplined player.
"He became a lot harder to play against," Hastings said. "He played a better game being physical and being responsible. He could pay between the dots when he needed to play between the dots, and we've always known he could play along the wall. Courage has never been a question for Eriah Hayes."
Worcester has nine games remaining in the regular season, starting Saturday. Hayes didn't know if he'd be in the lineup.
In a San Jose press release issued Friday night, Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said: "Eriah has had an outstanding collegiate career under the tutelage of both Mike Hastings and Troy Jutting, along with their staffs, and we are excited to add him to our prospect pool. His leadership this season as one of the team captains is something we feel will help him with his professional development, and we are excited to be a part of that process."
Posted by Shane Frederick at 2:12 PM