The long national nightmare is over: Jimmy Vesey signed with the New York Rangers on Friday, the team announced, inking a two-year entry level deal that at a maximum would be worth $925,000 plus $2.85 million in bonuses.
Vesey, who was drafted by Nashville with the 66th pick in 2012, informed the Predators that he planned to test the free agent market, taking advantage of a clause in the CBA which grants free agency to any player who does not sign after completing four years of NCAA play.
A big winger at 6’ 3” and 205 pounds, Vesey's mix of speed, offensive skills and instincts impressed scouts. He’s adept at winning puck battles while creating plays and goals. Whether or not he can continue to do those things at the NHL level remains to be seen, though he’ll get ample opportunity with the Rangers in 2016-17.
The 2016 Hobey Baker Award winner as college hockey’s top player had his rights sent to the Buffalo Sabres for a third-round pick at the trade deadline, though Vesey maintained his intention to become a free agent.
The 23-year-old Boston-born forward helped USA to a bronze medal at the 2015 World Championships after graduating from Harvard, where he posted 80 goals and 144 points in 128 games over four years with the Crimson, including 56 goals and 104 points over his last two collegiate campaigns.