I was one of those people who didn’t really “get” the Kevin Hayes signing.

Seven years?

50 million dollars for a 27 year old who had only once broken the 20 goals and 50 points mark? Are they really paying him the same amount of money as Ryan O’Reilly and Evgeny Kuznetsov? Chuck Fletcher made Kevin Hayes the 18th highest-paid center in the National Hockey League, a deal we chalked up as a typical free agency overpay.

Hayes, however, is having his best run as a Flyer, posting seven goals and three assists in February. 10 points is the most he’s put up in a single month this season, and he can eclipse that mark with a point tomorrow night against New York.

He’s up to 38 points in 63 games this year, which currently looks like this when you match it up with his output from prior seasons:

55 points last year over the course of 71 games is 0.77 points per.

38 points over 63 games this year is 0.60.

In order to match that New York+Winnipeg production, he’d have to put up 17 points in the next eight games, which is 2.1 and not realistic. But he’s on pace to play much more than the 71 games he played last season, so if he turns in, for example, 79 games of 0.60 PPG hockey, he’ll finish right around 47 points.

That’s certainly good enough, and he’s been better in the back half of the season. He’s going to set a career high in shots and likely goals as well. He’s scoring short-handed goals, overtime goals, and game winners. He’s a penalty killer with a personality that fits the city, and he’s putting up his numbers with about 90 seconds of fewer ice time than he averaged last year. The Konecny/Hayes/Laughton line looked fantastic the other night.

Hayes has been good. He’s been better than good. Maybe he’s still slightly overpaid when you compare his contract to other guys around the league, but if he and the Flyers keep up this February form, they’re gonna be a lot more exciting than the Sixers heading into the postseason.