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Medical examiner to conduct autopsy on Jimmy Hayes, former Bruin who died unexpectedly at 31

Former Bruins winger Jimmy Hayes, a Dorchester native, died suddenly on Monday at age 31.Tom Mihalek/Associated Press

Update, 12:59 p.m. Wednesday: Autopsy does not immediately reveal cause of death for former Bruin Jimmy Hayes

Those grieving the death of Jimmy Hayes did not receive comfort and closure Tuesday. Those asking why he died received no answer.

The state medical examiner will conduct an autopsy on Hayes, the former Bruins winger from Dorchester who died suddenly on Monday at age 31, to determine the cause and manner of his death, according to a spokesman for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

Once the medical examiner completes the inquiry, a death certificate will be filed with the state and the town of Milton that could provide more information.

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However, if there is no immediate medical explanation, or if more forensic testing is needed, the medical examiner will file a document where the cause of death will be listed as “pending.” Some medical tests can take weeks to complete.

Autopsy reports are not public records in Massachusetts.

More of Hayes’s friends and family members spoke out Tuesday, including his brother, Philadelphia Flyers center Kevin Hayes. In an Instagram post with pictures and videos of their time together, the younger Hayes mourned the loss of “my best friend.”

“My whole life it has always been Jimmy and Kevin or the Hayes brothers,” Kevin Hayes wrote. “I have followed you around since I can remember and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Whether it was youth hockey, Nobles, Boston College or the NHL, you paved the way for me.”

That rang true to their coach at Noble and Greenough School, Brian Day. He called Jimmy Hayes’s arrival, as a seventh-grader in the fall of 2002, a “pivotal moment” in the Dedham-based program’s history.

Jimmy Hayes played with the Bruins from 2015-17.Jim Davis/The Boston Globe

“Everybody knew who Jimmy Hayes was at that point,” said Day, who was the third coach in three years at Nobles when he took over the year before.

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Hayes, a standout for the South Shore Kings junior club and one of the top area talents, put up 34 points in 32 games as a prep school freshman, and Nobles reached the 20-win mark for the first time. Following him to school: Kevin Hayes, who became the program’s all-time leading scorer; Miles Wood (New Jersey Devils); and Colin White (Ottawa Senators).

“To get a player of his ability and a person of his character,” Day said, “it helped us get others.”

Hayes returned a couple of years ago with his wife, Kristen, to show her the school, Day said. “Always smiling, always laughing,” he said. “You never walked away from him feeling bad, and everybody fed off it.”

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Pat Maroon said Tuesday that his time as Hayes’s teammate in New Jersey boosted his career. Maroon has won the Stanley Cup three times in three years since leaving the Devils, where he spent the end of the 2017-18 season as Hayes’s teammate.

“You took me under your wing right away,” Maroon wrote on Instagram. “One thing that sticks out to me the most is how to be more positive when things are going [poorly] … I am a better person for knowing you.”

Who in the hockey world felt that more than Kevin Hayes?

“You taught me everything I needed to know in order to succeed,” he wrote of his older brother. “You lit up every single room you walked into with your smile and positive attitude. Everyone wanted to be around Jim, the big, goofy, horrible dancer, funny, genuine, and kindest person around.

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“I will never forget the times we shared or the memories we made and know that I will try my hardest to have your legacy live on. Our world lost someone special and I don’t know if I will ever be the same, but till we meet again, I LOVE YOU JIM!”

John Ellement of the Globe staff contributed to this report.


Matt Porter can be reached at matthew.porter@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter: @mattyports.