Jimmy Vesey has selected six. Six teams that he hopes are willing to offer him the Top-6 role that he desires to play on and that he feels that he is more than capable of playing with.Who those six are is yet though, has yet to be officially declared.Currently, Vesey’s rights are held to the Buffalo Sabres as they traded the Nashville Predators a 3rd round Draft Pick, in order to have shot at signing him before his officially is declared a Free Agent. The Sabres have hoped that having longtime friend, Jack Eichel, on the team to help sway an opinion, the Sabres could be a sure bet. It has been said that all teams will still have a shot at him. But when Vesey looks as though he wants to stay in the northeast, it’s tough to imagine him choosing beyond such.
Reports have been circling that Vesey could be also interested in playing for the Blackhawks, should they make him a competitive offer. And who wouldn’t want to? Play with the likes of Toews, Kane, Keith, Hossa, or Panarin? Anyone would jump at that opportunity to set themselves up for success like that. Likely that Head Coach, Joel Quinnville would be glad to offer the Hobey Baker Award winner a chance to play on a line with either Toews or Kane, or even better, to be the third on a line with both of them.
The New York Rangers and Islanders are interesting choices for Vesey. The Rangers right now looking as if their window is closing to seize and capture another Stanley Cup. With the likes of Henrik Lundqvist’s career likely coming to a close within the next couple of seasons, there is not much talent on the backend to support the forward group up front. Beyond Stepan and Kreider, who are already in their mid-20’s, there is not too much appeal in the lineup for success. The ice-time surely would be granted to him as more of a shakeup to the roster and a hopeful injection of talented youth and creativity. The Islanders, however, always seem to be a team that comes so close and has so much potential, and just runs in to a bad situation in the playoffs. Some extra firepower could help push them over the edge. Lead by captain, John Tavares, Vesey could be a core piece to this lineup for years to come. Though he would have to be okay with switching to his offside and playing on the right wing, there is a chance that he could play on that top line with Tavares and newcomer Andrew Ladd. The Islanders certainly make things a better choice than the Rangers, but still remain a long shot.
The New Jersey Devils can certainly make a strong push with the acquisition of Taylor Hall. With Cammalleri stating that he is finally healthy from his wrist injury, does a little bit of insurance help the Devils? Of course. Can be be guaranteed to be one of those Top 6? Maybe. The 34 year old Cammalleri cannot always be guaranteed to produce at the 0.9 point per game pace (38 points in 42 games) that he posted before the injury kept him out half of last season. Mike Cammalleri has not played more than 70 games since the 2008-09 season and insurance can be very attractive for the Devils. General Manager, Ray Shero, could certainly help his squad by adding Vesey to the mixture and add more skill to the forward squad in order to push for another Stanley Cup run.
The Boston Bruins. As Jimmy Vesey has stated before: “I’ve said it all along that Boston is definitely on my list of teams that I’d like to talk to,”. While Boston may be close to his heart and a dream come true team, his desire to actually play in the Top 6 would likely be unrealistic. Brad Marchand has locked up the 1LW spot. After increasing his shots total this past season from 180 in 2014-15, to 250 in 2015-16, and converting 14.8% of his them, he has earned the right to start the season on the top line. Pending Ryan Spooner‘s performance, he could be bumped off of the second line to make room for Vesey. His first full season with the Bruins earned him 13 goals and 49 points; it would be his to lose. With the new addition in the offseason of David Backes, however, the Top 6 looks certainly a bit crowded.
At this point, it’s anyones game. Lets face it, a team like Montreal or Arizona could make a strong pitch and manage to sign Vesey. Though his list has been limited down, hopefully Vesey and his agent take their time and listen to more than just the six chosen. August 15th will be an interesting day for these teams. Though, the 2016-17 season will be even more interesting, with the added pressure to ensure Vesey performs up to expectations.