Back in March, we talked about the unsigned draft pick of the Nashville Predators and how he reported that he would not sign with the team.
On Monday, the saga came to an end as Nashville traded the rights to Vesey to the Sabres for a third round draft pick in the upcoming 2016 NHL Entry Draft. Vesey is still slated to become an unrestricted free agent on August 15.
There was word for some time that he wanted to go to the Boston Bruins, but the Hobey Baker Award winner from Harvard will field offers from the Sabres first. It could be an interesting fit, as there were reports that Vesey wanted to play alongside long-time pal Jack Eichel.
For Buffalo, it’s a risk but it’s a risk they can afford. They have the option to court Vesey and they had a stockpile of third round draft picks, so they didn’t have to give up much to get the chance of a lifetime. And if they do walk out of this with Vesey locked in to a decent contract, the Sabres could look like the smartest team in hockey.
On the flip side, Vesey has always said he wants to test free agency.
“I’ll look at what a team has in terms of NHL roster, and also what it has in the prospect pool,” he said. “I’ll also be looking at the coaches and what style of play is going to fit me the best. The city, definitely. There’s a lot that’s going to go into it. I’m excited about it and I can’t wait to see where I’m going to end up.”
One also has to give the Predators a pat on the back here. They got out of a bad situation and snagged a draft pick for their troubles. They’re likely glad the headache is gone, even if Vesey turns out to be a heck of a player in the National Hockey League.
“Just as the rights to Jimmy Vesey were an asset for us, so is a third-round pick,” Nashville general manager David Poile said. “We just moved forward on this.”