2010-11: Aaron Haydon attended USA Hockey’s Select 14 Festival in July before skating for the Belle Tire ’96 bantam team that captured the 2011 U14 national championship.
2011-12: Haydon participated in USA Hockey’s Select 15 Development Camp and skated for Belle Tire’s midget major U16 team. In 40 regular season games he scored 2 goal with 9 assists and 93 penalty minutes. He scored 3 goals with 3 assists and had 28 penalty minutes in seven playoff games. Haydon was selected by Niagara in the first round (20th overall) of the 2012 OHL Priority Draft.
2012-13: Haydon made the jump directly from midget minor hockey to major junior; skating for the OHL’s Niagara IceDogs as a 16-year-old. He played 42 regular season games — scoring 4 goals with 6 assists — and was -7 with 39 penalty minutes. Niagara finished fourth in the Central Division and lost to Oshawa in a first round playoff series. Haydon appeared in three playoff games and was -1 with 1 assist and 2 penalty minutes.
2013-14: Haydon returned to Niagara for his second OHL season after skating for the USA U18 team at the 2013 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in August. In 61 regular season games he scored 5 goals with 11 assists and was -39 while finishing second to Anthony DiFruscia on the IceDogs with 112 penalty minutes. Niagara finished fourth in the Central Division and took first-place North Bay to seven games in a first round series. Haydon was -4 with no points and 10 penalty minutes in the series. He had no points and was +1 with 10 penalty minutes in five games for the USA at the Ivan Hlinka Tournament. Haydon was named to the 2013 CCM/USA All-American Prospects Game and selected to Team Orr for the 2014 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. He was ranked 54th amongst North American skaters in the Central Scouting final rankings and was selected by Dallas in the sixth round (154th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.
Haydon is a strong skater, especially laterally, and defends well on the rush. His in-zone coverage has improved noticeably during his time in junior hockey. His puck skills seem to have plateaued and there is a lack of confidence when it comes to moving the puck. Haydon turns the puck over too often and his sense of timing is a work in progress. He is a tough competitor and has a strong desire to improve but is inconsistent.
Haydon skated for Dallas in the 2014 Traverse City prospect tournament and attended his first NHL training camp with the Stars before returning to Niagara for the 2014-15 season. Now in his third OHL season, he had already exceeded his career-high in goals in a season with six by mid-December on a IceDogs team that was struggling to score goals and is near the bottom of the league standings. Long-term Haydon is not expected to be a big offensive contributor at the pro level but he has the potential to be an effective lower pairing defender. He also brings a physical element to his game and is steadily showing improvement. He is still a few years away from pushing for an NHL roster spot.