On this evening’s Saturday Headlines segment during the Hockey Night in Canada broadcast, Damien Cox and Elliotte Friedman gave us a quick update on college standout Jimmy Vesey and his potential pending free agency.
Could Toronto already have an inside track? Read past the jump for the full details…
Vesey, a 22-year old winger who will soon begin his Senior year at Harvard University, was drafted by the Nashville Predators in the third round of the 2012 NHL Draft. Last season, Vesey lead the nation with 32 goals in 37 games played and finished only behind Jack Eichel and Evan Rodrigues in scoring with 58 points.
Currently, Vesey’s rights still belong to the Predators. That said, if Nashville is unable to sign Vesey to an entry-level contract by next summer, he will become an unrestricted free agent. According to Cox, there is plenty of interest in the teams are already “lining up” for his services, but Toronto could be considered early favourites considering the Vesey family ties.
As Cox noted, Jimmy’s father – Jim Vesey – was recently hired by the Leafs as a scout.
What Cox didn’t mention is that Jimmy’s younger brother – Nolan Vesey – was drafted by the Leafs in the sixth round of the 2014 Draft.
Family ties don’t guarantee anything, but this is definitely a storyline that we’ll be following closely all season. It’d be difficult to believe that the Leafs don’t have some sort of advantage considering the how many members of the Vesey clan are already part of the organization.
As for Jimmy, he has obvious top-six upside and could step into the NHL as soon as next year. He’d be an excellent “free wallet” pick-up for any team in the league, but there are few that could provide Vesey with a better opportunity to jump into NHL immediately.