The New York Islanders are seemingly all-in on free agent rookie Jimmy Vesey. The recent Harvard grad is said to have narrowed his list of potential teams and the Isles might just be on the short list. So where does he fit if we land him?
Jimmy Vesey is the hottest asset to hit the free agency market since Stamkos pulled a fast one on everyone and just decided to stay in Tampa at the 11th hour.
Vesey, drafted by the Nashville Predators in 2012 became a free agent when he decided he didn’t like what he saw in Nashville and decided to wait them out. Eventually, the Preds dealt Vesey’s rights to Buffalo for a third round pick in 2016.
And when Buffalo failed to get Vesey’s signature before the August 16th deadline Vesey finally made it to the promised land of free agency.
For this entire build up the Isles seemed like a non-factor, and to be fair it still feels like a long shot for us to actually land last years Hobey-Baker winner. But were in the thick of it and are seemingly all in for Vesey. What if we actually land him? Where does he slot in?
Vesey Slots in at Bottom Six
It’s important to get one thing clear. Vesey didn’t go through all of this waiting in order to earn himself a one-way ticket to play in Bridgeport, or any other AHL affiliate.
There’s one thing all players want, and it’s to play. Vesey wouldn’t have leveraged his position in such a way to get AHL playing time. He wants NHL playing time. Whether you believe he deserves it or not is another question altogether.
But assuming Garth Snow and the Islanders give the most compelling case and Vesey decides to join the Isles. Where does he slot in?
The top two lines are fairly complete. The duos of Ladd-Tavares on the first-line and Strome-Nelson are all-but locks going into 2016-17. With Lee and Parenteau floating between the two.
Chimera-Cizikas-Clutterbuck look like a great fourth line. Two of those were already a formidable pairing last season and were dubbed the best fourth line in hockey. Losing Matt Martin hurts on the physical side, but gaining Chimera’s offensive upside makes this trio dangerous in a whole new sense.
Which leaves the third-line to look something like: Vesey-Nelson-Kulemin. The inclusion of Vesey on that third line would spell the end of whatever Shane Prince thought his role was going to be this year. Relegating the former Ottawa Senator to be an extra attacker, a healthy scratch, waiting for an injury to occur, or even trade bait.
Either way, adding Vesey to the organizational depth significantly deepens our pool of talented prospects. Just think of the young talent we’ll have in the lineup in a few years time: Barzal, Dal Cole, Beauvillier, and now maybe, just maybe, even Vesey.