Today Maple Leafs announced they have signed Jimmy Vesey.
The contract is one year at $900,000.
Jimmy Vesey, brother of former Leafs draft pick Nolan, was drafted by Nashville in 2012 in the third round. He finished a Harvard career (the Leafs have a lot of ties to Harvard) and refused to sign with Nashville, becoming a highly hyped and sought after free agent in the summer of 2016.
He signed with the New York Rangers for the kind of ELC that top first-round draft picks get with huge bonuses. The sort of contract it’s hard to live up to.
After three good, but hardly spectacular years on the Rangers, he was traded to the Buffalo Sabres last year on July 1. He was in the middle of a two-year deal for $2.275 million — an even harder deal to live up to.
Vesey is now 27, is listed at 6’3” and 200 lbs and plays both wings.
He is a player who has had more offensive than defensive impacts aside from some weak scoring ability, but his defensive impacts are okay, just not exceptional by HockeyViz, and a little more scary looking from Evolving Hockey.
His usage on the Sabres was essentially being chucked straight in the lineblender with all the other forwards, and doesn’t have a lot of sense to it. He wasn’t used particularly offensively or defensively, and the only notable thing about him was he tended to not face top lines.
His salary on the Leafs is likely more in line with the value he delivers. It just took years for that correction to happen.
In his last year at Harvard, he was captain of the team and played with Alexander Kerfoot.
As a cheap third line winger, he is cheap. He doesn’t necessarily look like someone who will be scoring goals himself or preventing them, so the only thing this signing seems to imply is that the Leafs are trading Pierre Engvall and not Alexander Kerfoot, and the third line still doesn’t seem to have a form to it.