Vesey Sweepstakes In; Verdict Still Out
So what's the big deal with Jimmy Vesey? I mean, he had two agents representing him and eight teams courting him. It was like some sort of big sweepstakes battle for this 23-year-old just out of Harvard. The New York Rangers got him. Now what?
Vesey, the reigning Hobey Baker Award winner as the NCAA's best player, became a free agent on Tuesday and by Friday he had a new red, white and blue sweater. During that time span he got a ton of press, mainly because little else was happening on the NHL front. All said, we wonder if the Rangers are that much better having the winger on their roster.
Here's the Resume:
Vesey was originally drafted by the Nashville Predators in the third round (No. 66 overall) in the 2012 NHL entry draft. He played four seasons at Harvard from 2012 to 2016 and finished with 144 points in 128 games for the Crimson. He served as team captain his senior season, when he had 46 points (24 goals, 22 assists) in 33 games at Harvard. But we've seen the best in college fall flat in the NHL. Former Baker Award winners Jack Eichel and Johnny Gaudreau seem to be working out. However, we haven't heard from Drew LeBlanc, Jack Connolly and Andy Miele lately. Together those recent Baker winners have played 16 NHL games total.
Here Are the Prospects:
Experts like his size (6-feet-2, 201 pounds), his smarts, vision, skating ability, and the fact that he can finish. He got 100 points in his last two seasons in a reputable ECAC league, and that's pretty impressive. On a Rangers team that had some scoring punch last year, these experts see him contributing around 30 points. That would put him below last year's totals of Chris Kreider and Rick Nash, other left wingers on the Rangers roster that Vesey will compete with. So we're talking second or third line at best.
So that would make him a notable contributor on the team. But does it make the Rangers better than the teams they'll have to overcome in the NHL East - Washington, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay? As things look now, not likely. The Florida Panthers, maybe. Weigh your NHL betting futures accordingly.
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