With 12 goals and 19 assists in 55 games this past season, it felt like Kevin Hayes had an underwhelming 2020-21 campaign.
We now know that Hayes had a valid excuse to not play up to par, as he played through a core muscle injury that will require surgery in the near future.
Although it's likely that Hayes will be recovered in time to not miss any regular season games this coming fall, there should be some concern with Hayes' ability to produce points next season. This will likely be a similar surgery to what Claude Giroux and Shayne Gostisbehere underwent, and it took both players about a full year to return to their pre-injury form. Giroux himself told media that it took him about nine months to feel back to his normal game speed.
If the same holds true for Hayes, it means the team will need to find production from other players until Hayes returns to his pre-injury form. Players like Travis Konecny, Scott Laughton, and Oskar Lindblom can be the players that pick up their pace and produce points, or maybe prospects like Wade Allison or Morgan Frost will take a big step forward in 2021-22 that the team will be fine until Hayes is fully healthy.