Nashville Predators: Everything Jimmy Vesey

Jimmy Vesey at Predators Prospect Camp. Mandatory Photo Credit: Kristen Jerkins
Jimmy Vesey at Predators Prospect Camp. Mandatory Photo Credit: Kristen Jerkins /

The Nashville Predators have been in the news a lot about a player that isn’t even on the roster.

The name Jimmy Vesey keeps popping up and well it should, especially this week.  If you’ve been following our “Vesey Watch” you know how he’s been doing in the postseason tournaments and when he might have to make a decision to join the Predators.

Vesey was a Predator draft pick but chose to stay at Harvard for his Senior season even though it has been reported that the Preds offered him a spot on the team before the playoffs last year.  He can sign with them immediately after Harvard’s season ends or any time up to August 15th when he will become a Free Agent and could sign with anyone that offers him.

But there have been several other articles and ideas popping up about Jimmy Vesey and the Nashville Predators and we thought we would point a few of them out and give our ideas about some of them.

First of all is one of our favorite columnists at the Hockey Writers, Colin Fitts.  He tweeted this out:

In the article, he mentions that David Poile is “cautiously optimistic” about signing Vesey although he has other options.  One of the reasons he points out is this:

"The Predators offer Vesey the most attractive situation. He can be in the NHL immediately, gain professional experience and can (probably) burn a year off his entry-level contract.  Vesey can only burn a year off his contract if he plays 10 or more games this season."

Thus, it is a very good reason for Vesey to sign right away this year with the Predators, so he would only have one year remaining on his entry-level contract if he can get into 10 games.  No one has ever questioned his loyalty which is strengthened even by his decision to play his last season with Harvard. If it was all about money he would have signed last season with the Predators.

Fitts also points out that there could be a problem with chemistry, slotting him into the lineup so close to the Playoffs.  That is also the theme of this article by Austin Pirkle of the Predatorial.  Pirkle points out that it may take him time to not only fit onto the First Line with Ryan Johansen and James Neal but also into the locker room.  It takes time to fit in sometimes, especially coming straight from college.

He feels, and we agree that although you would be bringing in a very talented player, you need to temper your enthusiasm as it’s certainly no sure thing that he would take this team to the next level.  There are too many variables.  We’ve seen before with late additions of Alexander Radulov, Cody Fransen, and Mike Santorelli that the best-laid plans and all of that.

Kevin Hayes signed with the New York Rangers after saying no to the Chicago Blackhawks in a similar situation.  He had similar numbers to Vesey if not quite as strong with Boston College in his senior season.  He has helped the Rangers with 17 goals last season and 12 this year but has struggled at times.

There was another mention about Jimmy Vesey in Elliotte Friedman’s 30 Thoughts column.   Way down in Number 16, he says that all eyes at the NCAA Hockey Tournament this weekend will be on Vesey.  He said:

"A defeat ends Vesey’s college career and forces him to make a decision — Nashville (and the playoffs) or elsewhere. I don’t profess to know what Vesey is thinking. In his writing and interviews, there’s a bit of Tim Duncan there, in terms of explaining why he wished to stay in college for four years. The Predators are hopeful and, one thing I can tell you, is about 28 other teams are hopeful he chooses them over Toronto. It’s going to be interesting if the choice is the Maple Leafs because the accusations will fly. Not that Lou Lamoriello will care."

It has been reported that if the Toronto Maple Leafs would happen to sign Vesey, the Predators would probably file tampering charges.  They signed his father as a scout and drafted his brother into their organization supposedly to entice young Vesey to play with them.  That wouldn’t sit well with anyone but Toronto fans.

The biggest question other than whether he will sign is just how good is he?  I’ve heard both Brent Peterson and Terry Crisp in interviews saying that people that they trust say he will be very good.  He had more goals in college last season than second overall NHL pick Jack Eichel and that young man has scored 22 goals this season for Buffalo.

I have heard more references to him playing like Chris Kreider of the New York Rangers than anyone.  Kreider has averaged about 20 goals a season for the Rangers.  He joined New York right out of Boston College and played for them in the playoffs without and regular season games in 2012 and scored five goals in the playoffs.  Since then he has twice had five or more goals in the playoffs in three postseasons.

One more article for you.  John Glennon of the Tennessean put out this story about why Vesey would make a fast impact for the Predators.   It’s a good article and in it, he makes the case for Vesey joining the Preds.  But we like the quote by John Buccigross about why Vesey is ready right now:

"“It’s usually the size and strength that are the biggest concerns (coming out of college), but Vesey already has the size and strength,” Buccigross said. “He already skates and shoots like a man. He’s not a young boy out there playing hockey. I think that combination is why he’s ready.”"

To make the rounds of all possible media we want to reference a really good video interview by Justin Bradford of Penalty Box Radio.  In it he interviews Vesey as well as his coach and Preds prospect Tyler Moy.  There are also clips of Vesey playing at Harvard:

Next: Vesey in the NCAA's

Something tells us that when ESPNU televises the Harvard games this weekend, the ratings in Nashville will be the best for a college  hockey game than ever before. He’s a special player with special circumstances and we all hope that he comes to a special place like Nashville to play his pro hockey.