It seems that the highly coveted free agent and Hobey Baker winner – Jimmy Vesey – may have already hinted at which direction he’s looking at when it comes to where he’ll be signing this offseason.
With pitch meetings set with numerous teams, including the Pittsburgh Penguins, Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils (among others), the 23-year-old Vesey reportedly told the Detroit Red Wings that he’s looking to remain closer to his hometown of Boston.
“We spoke to his agent about depth and opportunity,” said Red Wings assistant general manager Ryan Martin according to MLive.com’s Ansar Khan. “He said he preferred to play closer to home.”
Whether it was a slip of the tongue or some kind of excuse to knock Detroit off the free agent’s shortlist, it may mean that other teams close the Canada-U.S. border have already heard the qualifications to signing Vesey.
That being said, teams will be putting their best foot forward in trying to acquire the potential top-six winger. The Maple Leafs are expected to bring first overall pick Auston Matthews to the meeting with the Blackhawks rumoured to be inviting captain Jonathan Toews along on their free agent pitch.
Vesey has the potential to be a top-six forward at the NHL level and showcased his abilities already at the collegiate level. In 33 games last season for Harvard University he notched 24 goals and 46 points to go along with a plus-11 rating. Wherever he signs, he should be a major asset for his new club moving forward.
Andrew is in his 8th year reporting for The Hockey Writers covering the Toronto Maple Leafs. He began his broadcasting with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada team as well as being part of their coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. He’s the former play-by-play voice of the London Jr. Knights for Rogers TV and currently hosts the Sticks in the 6ix podcast. You can follow him on Twitter at @AndrewGForbes.