The future of college hockey star Jimmy Vesey remains a hot topic days after it became public knowledge that the Harvard University winger will be turning down the Nashville Predators‘ offer and testing free agency instead.
Citing “an extremely well-placed source within the Boston-area college hockey community,” the Boston Herald reported Wednesday that Vesey will sign with the Boston Bruins once the Predators lose rights to the player on Aug. 15.
A native of North Reading, Mass., the 22-year-old Vesey grew up a Bruins fan. The B’s general manager, Don Sweeney, also graduated from Harvard, playing four seasons on the Crimson blue-line.
Jimmy’s father, Jim Vesey, was a Merrimack College centre who had a cup of coffee with both the Bruins (four games in 1991-92) and the St. Louis Blues.
The senior Vesey was hired as a scout by the Maple Leafs, who drafted Jimmy’s younger brother Nolan in 2014.
“One exec offered to bet a steak dinner on it. He took the Maple Leafs and gave me the field,” Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman wrote in Tuesday’s 30 Thoughts. “It’s well-known the organization hired his father as a scout and drafted his brother.”
The Predators drafted Vesey in the third round of 2012, only to watch his stock grow with each impressive NCAA season. They have made multiple attempts to sign Vesey and are still hopeful to do so.
Source: Representatives for Jimmy Vesey informed the Predators days before trade deadline the prospect would not commit to signing with team
— Joe McDonald (@ESPNJoeyMac) March 30, 2016
“We’re disappointed in the whole process here, that we didn’t get the player signed,” Predators assistant GM Paul Fenton said Tuesday on Hockey Central at Noon.
“We think we were promised his services, and at the end of the day, they, like every everybody else, can change their mind.”
Fenton and Nashville GM David Poile have said that the Predators’ stand-pat approach to the Feb. 29 trade deadline was impacted by the confidence that they would be able to sign Vesey.
Vesey’s camp responded to the Predators Wednesday with a statement indicating that Nashville was informed to conduct its trade deadline business regardless of the potential of signing or not signing Vesey.
Jimmy Vesey's representation has released a statement: pic.twitter.com/HYn4CQxOK4
— Adam Vingan (@AdamVingan) March 30, 2016
Was an honor & privilege to wear Harvard across my chest for 4 yrs. I'm sad it's over but grateful for everything it gave me #ForeverCrimson
— Jimmy Vesey (@19Vesey) March 26, 2016
with Mark Jankowski signing. Jimmy Vesey is now the highest drafted player whose club rights expire Aug 15, 2016 pic.twitter.com/wAFCB4nIak
— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) March 30, 2016