Jimmy Vesey was born and raised a Boston boy – from North Reading, Massachusetts, where he grew up a Bruins fan. His father played fifteen NHL games, four of which were with the Bruins, and Jimmy’s dream has been to carry on what his dad had started. Despite being drafted by the Nashville Predators back in 2012, it seems as though Vesey is going to make his dream come true.
Vesey announced earlier this season that he would use his rights under the collective bargaining agreement to test free agency rather than sign with the Predators. As you can imagine, Nashville wasn’t happy. The Preds claimed that Vesey had led them to believe that he would sign with their team, despite his intention to act otherwise.
“Nashville now claims that they were without knowledge of [the possibility that Vesey would pursue free agency] and that this lack of knowledge precluded the hockey club from acquiring a player at the trade deadline.” said Vesey’s club, per Sports Illustrated. “This contention is not accurate. The Nashville Predators were informed prior to the trade deadline that they should conduct their business as they saw fit and that the potential of signing or not signing Jimmy Vesey should not be a factor in their decision.”
This comes a year after Vesey turned down an offer to play with Nashville after the Crimson were eliminated from NCAA Tournament contention last season. Rather than turning pro, Vesey opted to return to Harvard for his senior year, and earn a degree from one of the nation’s most prestigious schools.
“At the end of last year I could have joined the Preds for the playoffs,” Vesey said, prior to this season, per NHL.com. “That was something that I had thought about a lot. I think that I’m ready to turn pro, but there is still room for improvement for me and college is a good environment to do that in. We don’t play as many games, but we have a lot of time at practice and in the weight room so I can really focus on getting stronger and faster and rounding out my game.”
“It was a really tough decision for me. I sat down with my family and we kind of weighed our options. At the end of the day, I just wanted to make sure I got that degree from Harvard because hockey is not going to last forever and that’s something good to fall back on. I’m going to wait one more year and finish my college season and hopefully sign after the year.”
You can probably guess where the Boston-boy may have his mind set on signing.
“According to an extremely well-placed source within the Boston-area college hockey community, the forward will … sign with the B’s.”
Vesey is a very quick winger who has a knack for the back of the net. He’s been a breakout player in his past two seasons at Harvard – tallying 104 points (and 56 goals) for the Crimson. He was given the Hobey Baker award this season as college hockey’s top player. With Loui Eriksson likely to bolt this offseason as a free-agent, Boston would undoubtedly welcome Vesey’s presence on the left side. Theoretically, he could fit right in Boston’s top-six.
To make matters even more appealing for Vesey, the Bruins are in possession of Boston University stand-out Matt Grzelcyk, who they drafted back in 2012. The Charlestown, Mass. native happens to be one of Vesey’s good friends, and signed with the Bruins recently.
Nothing has officially been set in stone yet, but Jimmy Vesey’s future with the Bruins looks more likely every day.
Cam is a Broadcast Journalism student at the University of Maryland. He’s the Boston Bruins Beat Writer at The Hockey Writers, and is an avid college hockey fan. Find him on Twitter @CamHasbrouck!