Every team is looking for a competitive edge to lure Jimmy Vesey to their franchise. In the case of the Toronto Maple Leafs, their biggest advantage seems to be the fact that both Vesey’s father and brother are already affiliated with the Leafs. Another edge that Toronto holds, however, is 2016 1st overall draft pick, Auston Matthews.
Whatever push the Leafs intend on putting on Vesey when the free agent window opens, will likely include Auston Matthews helping sell Tor.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) August 15, 2016
Many teams can offer Vesey an opportunity to play with talented players, whether it’s Jack Eichel in Buffalo, David Krejci in Boston, Jonathan Toews in Chicago, or otherwise. What they can’t offer, however, is the potential to create a bond with the 18-year-old Matthews as he looks to help turn around a Toronto franchise that has been craving a Stanley Cup since their last win in 1967.
Toronto may not have the pieces in place to be competitive next season, but they certainly have the pieces to be a dominant force within a few years. With prospects like Matthews, Mitch Marner, and William Nylander ready to join the fray, and young, talented players like Morgan Rielly and Jake Gardiner already on the team, the Leafs could draw Vesey in.
It isn’t clear if Vesey values immediate Stanley Cup contention over the ability to compete for years in the future, or if the sheer market size of Toronto is impressive enough for the 23-year-old, but Toronto will certainly take their best shot.