Kevin Hayes always was destined to wear a Winnipeg Jets jersey.
An old photo of Hayes wearing a Jets jersey resurfaced after Winnipeg acquired the forward from the New York Rangers before the NHL Trade Deadline on Monday.
Hayes, who is from Boston but played the past five seasons with the Rangers, shared a photo of himself as a child wearing the jersey with the caption "#TBT to the best jerseys in the League" on May 1, 2014. Hayes hadn't played an NHL game yet but was a Chicago Blackhawks draft pick and highly regarded prospect at Boston College at the time.
Hayes will get to wear the current Jets jersey for real now that Winnipeg acquired him for Brendan Lemieux, a first-round pick at the 2019 NHL Draft and a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft. When asked about the photo, Hayes shed some insights into what made it so special.
"I'm actually cousins with [former Jets forward] Keith Tkachuk, so when he was on them, I was a huge Jets fan," he said. "I knew that picture was going to eventually get out, but we would always cheer for the Jets when Keith played for them."