Chicago Sun-Times

Jimmy Hayes gets the call from the Blackhawks; Brandon Pirri sent back down to Rockford

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Jimmy Hayes is next line.

The 6-6, 221-pound rookie winger was called up by the Blackhawks on Thursday as center Brandon Pirri was sent back down to the Rockford IceHogs.

Hayes, who was acquired from the Maple Leafs for the 43rd overall selection in the 2010 draft (Bradley Ross) on June 26, 2010, will make his NHL debut Friday against the Red Wings.

"I'm real excited," Hayes said. "It's what I've worked hard to do. I finally get a chance and it will be a big game for me to step right in. .. It was a dream come true. It's what I've worked for my whole life and trying to get at. It's a great phone call to get."

Hayes, 22, had 18 points in 28 games for the IceHogs. He'll play on a line with veterans Jamal Mayers and Andrew Brunette.

"I'm just happy to get a chance and see what I can do with it," Hayes said. "It's great to get thrown right into the fire. It's a big game -- Detroit and Chicago. Hopefully, I can go out there and execute and play my best."

The Hawks drafted Hayes' brother Kevin in the first round two years ago, prompting the team to acquire him. They are second cousins with former NHLers Keith Tkachuk and Tom Fitzgerald.

Jimmy Hayes recorded 42 goals and 39 assists in 117 games with the Boston College prior to joining Rockford. He said he's worked primarily on his skating.

"That's what I've been working on," Hayes said. "I'm obviously a big guy. I have to move out there."

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Adam L. Jahns is a native Chicagoan hailing from the Far Northwest Side. Jahns has been with the Sun-Times since 2005, covering the Hawks since 2009. He's also helped cover the Bears, Cubs, Sox and high schools.

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This page contains a single entry by Adam L. Jahns published on December 29, 2011 1:41 PM.

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