Jimmy Vesey is set to sign with an NHL team on August 15th, but nobody knows where the former Hobey Baker Award winner will land. Vesey excelled at Harvard University last season putting up 24 goals and 22 assists for 46 points in 33 total games last year. He was the property of the Nashville Predators for the last three years before his rights were traded to the Buffalo Sabres in the offseason. Vesey was drafted in the 3rd Round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft by Nashville but opted not to sign with them and continue his collegiate career at Harvard University.
In the middle of June, after Vesey had stated he would not sign with the Predators and wait until he became a free agent on August 15th to sign with a team of his liking, he was traded to the Buffalo Sabres, a team that not only has a need for the young playmaker, but also holds the chance for immediate playing time that he is seeking. The Sabres seemed like a sure thing to lock in a deal with the youngster, but he again scorned them to wait until August 15th to sign with someone.
The rumors have been swirling that Vesey has narrowed his choices down to six teams, but nobody knows for sure what is going through his mind. Many people have already criticized him for not signing already and seemingly pouting his way out of Nashville. Vesey will enter the market with most teams already having done there heavy lifting for the offseason but if the rumors are true, six teams have been holding out hope that Vesey will help fortify their offseason additions.
The Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, Chicago Blackhawks, Buffalo Sabres, Toronto Maple Leafs, and New Jersey Devils are the rumored finalists for Vesey. Some of these teams have personal connects, his father is a scout for the Maple Leafs, and Vesey is a Massachusetts native and longtime Bruins fan, however it looks like a combination of playing time and championship hopes will drive the soon to be Harvard alum to his destination.
While the Chicago Blackhawks are probably the best team with rumored interest, playing time will be crowded on the Blackhawks offensive lines, with Kane and Toews gaining most of the puck possession. The Maple Leafs, Sabres, and Devils probably do not have any real aspiration to win next year but they do offer the chance to play a considerable amount, but the best fits would be the New York Rangers and the Boston Bruins.
The Bruins have to be the favorite in that race, because it would mean playing for the hometown team that his father once played for and he would be able to remain in a city he has grown comfortable in. Plus, playing alongside Patrice Bergeron or David Krecji, who are both pass first centers, could mean for a big first year for Vesey. If I had to guess, I would say that Vesey signs with the Bruins on August 15th and immediately takes the place that Loui Eriksson left on the wing next to either Bergeron or Krecji. I guess we will find out in a couple days whether or not the rumors have been true all along.