The long wait is over and #VeseyWatch has finally ended. Jimmy Vesey announced on Friday that he will be signing a two-year entry-level deal with the New York Rangers. So, now that he’s finally chosen a hockey destination, how does this impact his fantasy value?
How Does Vesey Fit in with the Rangers?
Without a doubt, playing time and top line minutes had to be one of Vesey’s primary concerns when choosing a team, and it’s hard to imagine the Rangers pitch didn’t include such promises. But when compared to other teams on his list, such as New Jersey or Boston, the Rangers are already pretty deep at the winger spot. Considering that Chris Kreider, Mats Zuccarello and Rick Nash are all locked into top six roles, and then adding JT Miller and touted Russian prospect Pavel Buchnevich into the mix, it’s very likely going to be a situation where Vesey will have to earn his minutes.
Now, there’s no doubting that Vesey is NHL-ready and possesses a very good offensive skill set. Yahoo’s Ryan Lambert recently posted a nice synopsis of what Vesey can bring from a statistical standpoint. But it’s more than possible he starts the year on the Rangers third line, centered by his good friend, Kevin Hayes. He should factor in on the power play, although it’s hard to imagine he’ll be on the top unit. Don’t expect 18-19 minutes a night to start here, but he is certainly in the mix to produce as part of a potent offense.
Handicapping Vesey’s Fantasy Value
Vesey’s ceiling for the upcoming season is probably upwards of 18-22 goals and somewhere in the neighborhood of 45-50 points. That kind of statistical output would essentially be him fully panning out in year one. But more reasonable expectations might be something like 15+ goals and 35+ points, which makes him a fringe top 200 fantasy player. In terms of comparable wingers, that would put him in the neighborhood of players like Alex Killorn, Troy Brouwer, or even his new teammate, Chris Kreider. And Vesey obviously gets a bump in keeper formats.
The main takeaway here is that because the Vesey hype train has been chugging along for a while now, you’re not going to get him at any kind of bargain price or a round or two later than you should in your drafts. The more interesting spot to look at Vesey might be from a daily fantasy standpoint, where his low price tag might provide value depending on how his role and minutes unfold in the opening weeks of the season.
Summing It All Up
In the end, it’s probably best to temper expectations for a player who’s been in the hockey headlines all summer long. It’ll be an important situation to monitor as training camps and eventually preseason games get underway, but Vesey is one forward among many on a team that’s now fairly loaded up front. Value him accordingly.
Writer and fantasy hockey enthusiast contributing content for THW’s fantasy section.