The Nasvhille Predators are “cautiously optimistic” about their chances of signing college star Jimmy Vesey. In an interview on Sportsnet’s Hockey Central at Noon on Friday, Predators general manager David Poile said he’s hoping to get a deal with Vesey done in the next two to three weeks.
The back-to-back top-10 Hobey Baker Trophy finalist was drafted 66th overall by the Predators in 2012. After putting up an impressive 32 goals, 58 point (in 37 games) 2014-15 season, Vesey has continued his stellar production with Harvard this year, with 23 goals, 21 assists and 44 points in 30 games.
Poile said he could imagine the Harvard University left winger stepping in on their top-six right away.
“We think he can play on one of our top two lines right away into the lineup and help us,” said Poile.
“And if that’s the case, that’s better than any trade deadline deal I can make and it didn’t cost us our first or second round pick.”
The 22-year-old is an extremely coveted player around the league since he hasn’t signed an entry-level contract and is set to become a free agent by the end of the season. Vesey himself has said in the past he has “a great relationship [with Nashville], and I think I’m a very loyal person,” but the fact he hasn’t put pen to paper yet was a tad concerning.
Poille sounded confident he could get a deal done soon, and if that’s the case, Nasvhille is going to get a very talented player, as who Poile mentioned, can fit into the team’s top-six instantly. College free agents are often overrated (see Matt O’Connor) but Vesey seems to be the real deal.
If the Predators can’t get a deal done soon, I’d wager Vesey will have plenty of suitors – but this one looks like it’s going to get done eventually.