REPORT: Leafs once again favourites in Jimmy Vesey sweepstakes

You didn’t think we were going to get through this summer without another down-to-the-wire sweepstakes, did you? With two weeks remaining until he officially hits the market Nashville Predators draft pick, Buffalo Sabres property, and Harvard University captain Jimmy Vesey has been reported to be leaning back towards the Toronto Maple Leafs as his top destination.

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This is interesting, considering recent gossip about more competitive teams like the Chicago Blackhawks being in the mix. Of course, Toronto have been reported to be in the mix for Vesey since at least the beginning of last season, when people were beginning to gossip that the 23-year-old was considering leaving the Predators after graduation.

Perhaps Toronto’s biggest selling point remains the family connection; his dad, Jim Vesey Sr, works for the team as a scout while his brother Nolan was drafted by the Leafs in 2014 and remains in the system. Beyond that, though, as we mentioned a few weeks ago, there are some worthy, if not better alternatives to consider, such as the Sabres (who traded for him a few weeks back, have tons of money, and Jack Eichel to help convince him), the Predators, the Blackhawks, and the Boston Bruins. Betting on his family to remain there with him would be a tough risk, whereas other teams could give him more of a chance to play and/or win immediately.

There’s also a matter of bonuses to consider. Toronto has a lot of entry-level deals with performance incentives on the line, and one would imagine that Vesey will get the full $950,000 + $2.85 million from a team. He’s unlikely to hit them all, or even most, but it’s possible that the team is a little less aggressive given Lamoriello’s history (outside of Matthews) and how much they’ve already got waiting in the balance. That’s not to say he’d come out with just the base number, though; both of Toronto’s NCAA signings this year (Kasimir Kaskisuo and new addition Trevor Moore) were given full Schedule A’s.

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Either way, Vesey, while not the sure thing superstar that his biggest fans hype him up to be, would be a great “free wallet” get for any team. If the Leafs are once again at the forefront of the conversation, despite a risk of hurdles and Vesey potentially having better options, that’s a very good sign for the team’s brand power and another push towards depth in the youth group.

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  • cobra771

    Ok Jeff I don’t get why you think he has better options. Sure he could go to Chicago and win in a yr or 2 but he would be just a player that helped a great team win. If he goes to Toronto he becomes a part of a team that is becoming a team now and grow with his team as it becomes a contending team and when they win he will be a huge part of his team not just a piece.What kid wouldn’t want that. Boston is spinning their wheels and are headed for a full rebuild or should be and wont win for a long time. NYR are worse then Boston. Buffalo well sry but who would want to live there. so imo Toronto is his best option.

    • Capt.Jay

      I have a feeling the Hawks are done winning the cup for a while. In my mind he fits into the future core like a 1B Kappenen, Brown type guy while being 2 years further along in his development. He would be another nice piece

  • Trevor5555

    it would be well worth it if Buffalo got snubbed again by Toronto and has their prize stolen right from underneath their dumpster trash heap of a city. please make it so! join your family jimmy! nothing better than crying sabres fans online. we need another angry mike harrington Twitter rant. we’ll hear “1967” even though the entire city of buffalo hasn’t seen a sporting championship since 1965 ?☕️ also: Babcock Matthews, the better nylander, marner, rielly >>> bylsma, eichel, reinhart, a drunk driver, a sexual abuser & ristolainen.

  • Tommy Cat

    Vesey looks just like Bozak in that picture. And “free wallet” was the quote BB first coined on Bozak. Yup … its all lining up.

    Agree with cobra771. Vesey may pick Toronto and the reason will probably not be a family connection but the fit into a young team on the rise as opposed to a team in decline (Boston) or one that is always so capped out because of its locked up expensive core that complimentary pieces are continually being cut away to make it work.

  • Tommy Cat

    Who is Adrian Drater and why is his “rumor” given so much weight? No mention of Boston, his home town team and who he grew up cheering for? I would put more stock in what the young man actually said last he spoke on the matter, and not some guy from the blogosphere who writes about the Avalanche.

  • Stan Smith

    The way I look at it is the Leafs have an abuundance of wingers. Do they just automatically give Vesey a roster spot or would it be better for the team, and Vesey if he spent a season with the Marlies? If that was the case, would he even sign with the Leafs if he knew the wanted him to play a season with the Marlies?

  • Tommy Cat

    The way I see it, every time the Leafs are “in the lead” for a player, we never end up with that player. I really believe that the agents leak this type of information to drive up competition because they know the media and internet will spread that news in an instance.

      • Tommy Cat

        Of course there is “competition” … its just not all dollars and cents. There is playing time, roster spot, no movement clause, outside endorsements and countless other perks. I just don’t know this guy is worth all the hype … lots of Hobey Baker winners go nowhere in the NHL, lots of NCAA guys who became free agents also go nowhere … this poor kid is being hyped up and will have a hard crash when reality sets in if/when he turns out to be just a so so prospect.

        • nobonusfornonus

          I agree with all of this except the mention of “no movement clause.” Article 11.8 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement provides that a no-move (or no-trade) clause can’t be effective until a player becomes eligible to be a Group 3 unrestricted free agent. Further, Vesey’s entry level contract can only be for two seasons (CBA Article 9.1) at which time he’ll be 25, so neither old enough nor enough seasons to qualify for Group 3 unrestricted free agency.

      • Gary Empey

        the “competition” is many:

        a) between who wants him and where he wants to be (want to go to Boston but they won’t give him max money) or,
        b) about the opportunity that is painted for him and where he fits in (e.g. he may prefer to be in Chicago but they may not see him as an immediate top 6 forward.

        If the $ is the same regardless, then there must be something else that differentiates team A from team B.

  • magesticRAGE

    I wonder if Detroit swoops in and takes him. They are desperate for replenishment of their core pieces. Zetterberg is winding down his career, Vesey has a great chance to make an impact.

    • nobonusfornonus

      why would he go to that sad team? they have no future, they’re old, no fan support and broke. he wants to go to a team where he can play with a skilled young core in the top 6. knowing the red wings, they’ll want him in the ahl or play him in the bottom 6.

  • nobonusfornonus