Flashback to August 2016, the New Jersey Devils were at the heart of the Jimmy Vesey sweepstakes as the Harvard graduate became an unrestricted free agent after not signing with the Buffalo Sabres. Vesey ended up spurring the Devils and signed a two-year contract with their Hudson River rivals, the New York Rangers.
Five years later, Vesey will be wearing red and black when the preseason starts on September 29 against the Washington Capitals. The 28-year-old forward has had his fair share of struggles as he joins his fifth team in five seasons. In 50 games with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Vancouver Canucks last season, Vesey accumulated only 10 points (five goals, five assists).
Vesey is being brought to New Jersey as an insurance policy. The Devils have an assortment of young players who will be fighting for bottom six positions on the roster. If players like Dawson Mercer, Alexander Holtz, Nolan Foote, Fabian Zetterlund, or Tyce Thompson show they are not ready then Jimmy Vesey can play in a bottom six role as young players develop with the Utica Comets.
Looking back on the Vesey sweepstakes, the Devils dodged a bullet not landing the young forward in 2016. Vesey comes into camp with a chip on his shoulder and a lot to prove. At the very least, his presence alone will help push young players towards making the opening night roster.Embed from Getty Images