Jimmy Vesey On Stan Bowman’s Mind

Two years ago, the Blackhawks saw a top prospect finish four years of college and walk away as a free agent.

Kevin Hayes, Chicago’s first round pick in 2010, waited until mid-August and signed with the New York Rangers. He had a strong senior year at Boston College (following three less-than-stellar college campaigns), and looked for both money and opportunity somewhere other than with the team that drafted him.

This summer, another top college prospect is weighing his options.

Jimmy Vesey was a third round pick (66th overall) by the Nashville Predators 2012. He went to Harvard (smart kid) for four years and had two stellar seasons to close out his collegiate career. Vesey put up 104 points (56 goals, 48 assists) in 70 games over his final two seasons at Harvard. He won the Hobey Baker Memorial Award this spring after posting 24 goals and 22 assists in 33 games, and wore the “C” for Harvard.

Blackhawks prospect Tyler Motte, a fourth round pick in 2013, played three years at Michigan. He was a Hobey Baker finalist as well after putting up 32 goals and 24 assists in 38 games as a junior.

Listed at 6-2 and 210 pounds, the 23-year-old has options, and is being recruited like other free agents.

One of the NHL general managers recruiting him has been Stan Bowman.

Mark Divver at the Providence Journal tweeted on July 6 and July 20 that Bowman was watching Vesey play in a summer league. The Buffalo News has also linked the Blackhawks to Vesey recently; Buffalo has an interest in where Vesey signs after the Sabres traded a third round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft to Nashville for his rights.

The Blackhawks signed a Hobey Baker winning free agent in 2013, but St. Cloud State center Drew LeBlanc lasted only two seasons in Rockford before relocating to Europe.

Last year, the Blackhawks signed another college free agent, Kyle Baun, after three years at Colgate. Baun has played five games with the Hawks over two seasons and posted nine points in 43 injury-plagued games in his first pro season with Rockford last year.

Vesey had five game-winning goals for Harvard last season. He also had six on the power play and one short-handed tally. He was only whistled for three minor penalties over the season as well. Vesey plays a strong all-around game and would fit the Hawks’ system.

A left wing, Vesey would want guarantees that he could step into a top-six role to sign with Chicago soon (opening night). Left wing is something the Blackhawks need, but the Hawks have a few other new players joining the system. Vesey would be in competition with Motte and Nick Schmaltz – both also coming from the college ranks – for a roster spot.

26 thoughts on “Jimmy Vesey On Stan Bowman’s Mind

  1. Nobody knows if the kid will be a good signing for the Hawks …Drew Leblanc was a Hobey Baker winner and thats sbout it …after he was nothing …
    Jimmy Vesey will MAYBE reach the NHL one day ,Nobody knows …there is a big step from College to NHL
    Every year we have dreams to see a Panarin guy coming to Chicago but its Rare to see them burn the Nhl like Artemi did ..

  2. H2010- agreed… it comes down to Skating versus NHL guys- hard to compare when Kids are skating versus peers… Like my scouting on Radke and others @ Prospect camp… If Radke (for example) has NHL speed/skating ability… I really believe the Kid will play sooner than later… if NOT NHL skating- he will never sniff ice…

    Le Blah- was NOT NHL skater!!!

    Still wish Hawks would Have pursued Caggulia (Schmaltz’s teammate from ND)-
    now that kid has wheels/grit… Oilers should be happy with him

    Re: Vesey- Saw a few “Hilite” videos… seems to play like Kane/Panarin Just weaves thru the D with patience and skill… BUT- still it’s versus Kids- Need to see at the next level??? Working for Vesey- he has more size than many- so he can actually be a little slower, and get away with it if he uses size…

    Still think it is 1 in 10 chance Hawks land him…

  3. Guarantee to step into a top six role…..and on a contender……

    A man I know coached high school baseball for 28 seasons. I might add that 26 of those seasons with winning records, 4 state titles and 4 finals loses. He quit. Said he could not do it anymore. Why, he said that the players and their parents felt privileged that they lived in the district and were part of such a winning tradition. But the last 5 years, HE was supposed to GRATEFUL that the parents ALLOW their child to play for him.

  4. Hawks did pursue Caggiula. He wanted to play in western Canada.

    Scottie P.- Why are you not a fan of the kids picking where they play? Everywhere else in the world potential employees pick their employer…provided they have enough suitors.

    Vesey was passed over in his first year of draft eligibility. Then had a breakout year and the Preds took him. the second time around.

  5. I agree with Scottie P because the NHL has a draft for a reason. It is because the league attempts to build parity while also rewarding teams that develop their own players. Any player that refuses to sign with their drafting team is taking the attitude that they are more important than the integrity of the entire draft process. It’s certainly their right, but it says something to me about that person’s character.
    It’s a terrible loophole in the CBA that a player that signs has to go thru 3 contracts to become a UFA where another guy can dis the whole draft precess and become a UFA right away.

    I believe the next CBA should say that any college player who receives a qualifying offer can only become an RFA.

  6. What does it say about their character? The kid spent 4 years getting an education. Arguably the best education. This same “loophole” applies to CHL drafted players. It’s the Lindros thing all over again. Only they can refuse to sign after 2 years, re-enter the draft. Refuse to sign. then become UFA. The kid could have signed 2 years ago if he was in it for the money. He went back to school. Shared a car with his brother and finished his education. Players can’t be forced to sign with a club. It might be tough tying unsigned players as restricted free agents. How can I be restricted from working for someone other than company A despite me never working for company A.

  7. How bout getting us a good left winger for Towes to play with?? Is that not on the Godly Stans mind. ? Not talking some multi million dollar guy ,.,.just a good two way left winger.,.,.,.Seems like WAY to much to ask eh. Going golfing ,.,.,see ya.

  8. I said college, but, true any player could do this. IMO, players that think they are above the draft show me an inflated opinion of themselves…they are putting their singlular wants ahead of the whole NHL. What’s to say they would not think themselves above being a member of a team?
    Hayes, for example has been a good player for NYR at times but he also has had to be smacked down a peg with some healthy scratches because he wanted to do his own thing.
    It gives me reason to pause on the player.

  9. First, getting a Harvard education is outstanding, but the ECAC is not a real strong league so Vesey didn’t even play against the best NCAA players/teams. However, watching him play in the Foxboro summer league against some NHL players and other highly touted players, his size/speed combination is NHL caliber. Comparisons to Kevin Hayes and Drew Lablanc are apples and oranges – neither of those guys can skate anywhere close to Vesey (especially Lablanc). I don’t think there is any doubt he is good enough for the NHL right now. Is he good enough for a top-6 role – that’s the question.

  10. oops – premature posting …

    The Hawks are on his short list along with Buffalo, Boston and supposedly 3 or 4 other teams. So, yes they have a chance, but my guess is he will sign with his hometown (Boston).

    But if the Hawks are fortunate enough to sign him, I would like to see this top-9:


  11. It’s obvious that Stan is going to make a real strong push for Vesey on 8/15.

    I happen to think he’s going to land him. The chance to bury goals playing in the top-6 in Chicago and playing for the Hawks I have a feeling, wins out.

    If he was going to sign in Buffalo, he probably would have done so by now. Their management team, traded for his rights and gave him the hard sell. If they did not close the deal when they had the exclusivity, they likely won’t post 8/15

    Boston and Toronto will be in there pitching. The familial and geographical ties have been well documented. But I think having whiffed on Hayes and Mike Reilly, this time Stan gets his man.

    Having said all that, I felt Vesey screwed Nashville somewhat. But in some senses,
    at least they got their original investment back – a 3rd round pick.

  12. I think Vesey could have told Nashville behind closed doors what his intentions were. If he knew what they were all along. They could have traded him sooner. Tim Murray and Buffalo have felt they were a long shot anyway and wanted the extra time to talk with him knowing he’s probably going to sign quickly after the 8/15 date. I really don’t see the allure to Toronto. Other than his dad being an area scout in the Boston area and the leafs taking his brother who probably won’t even be signed it’s a reach. We’re all biased Chicago fans so of course we think he’s coming here. If he doesn’t sign with Boston I think he signs here.

    Boston has quite a lot going against it. If Backes isn’t a center he’s a left wing and they’d have Backes,Marchand, and Beleskey there’s. If he is a center they have 3 guys over 30 down the middle. And who do they have on defense? With nobody in the pipeline defensively.

  13. I don’t know the other teams on his “short list” but I wouldn’t be surprised if Pittsburgh is on it and a strong candidate seeing they can sell winning and playing with superstars as much as the Hawks can.

  14. Hawks will try hard but i really dont think they sign Vesey, they where lucky last year with Panarin .Many teams will look at him or call his agent to make offer very soon and the 15 /8 ….the hawks will have 5-10% chance to sign him .

    Wish i can see him play for the Hawks ‘ if he is that good…. ‘if

  15. I don’t think Stan Bowman flies to Boston twice on a 5 to 10 % chance of eventually closing the deal.

    Scott Powers is now reporting that Vesey’s agent has confirmed he will listen to Chicagos pitch. Hmmm. Like Ernie mentioned, I am a biased Hawk fan.

    I think there is something about playing with Toews, Kane, rookie of the year Panerin, including power play time. If this Harvard educated kid says no to that, then so be it, he can stay in Boston.

  16. It’s the middle of the summer. What else is Stan going to do? So yeah, I’d do it for those odds. He will listen to Chicagos pitch….That doesnt mean much. He said he’ll listen to pitches but that he won’t listen to all other 29 teams pitches.

  17. Might be closest to be “Saad” kind a kid, big, strong and good speed. But not sure that Hawks are front runners.

  18. Just a hunch but if Stan signs Vesey, I think you will see Mark McNeill traded before training camp, to give him a “change of scenery”, “chance to play in the NHL” , “he wasn’t going to get that here”, type narrative.

    At this point he might fetch a mid-round pick in 2017 ( Hawks hosting draft and stockpiling to dominate draft in McDonough style).

    Keep in mind any team interested in McNeill knows he will have to clear waivers to be sent to Rockford, if he does not make the Hawks, so they just might wait and hope to claim him. But if a team truly feels he is NHL-ready. They might be willing to send the Hawks a 4th rounder.

  19. Panarin’s success will help us recruit Vesey.

    Last year, an older rookie walked into our top-6, won millions in performance bonuses, and skated away with the Calder (and so can you).

    That is a fantastic selling pitch that no other team can boast, in addition to 3 cups in 6 calendar years.

    If that’s what Vesey is looking for, then Chicago’s the favorite. But if home is where the heart is, or where the family is, then Boston or Toronto are favorites.

    50/50 chance we sign him.

  20. Buffalo and bruins hve a high interest in Vesey …and i heard about Columbus ..laately …soo many teams want him …Boston ….Habs …..the chance are getting ….thin …toronto also plus a few we dont know yet ….hummm
    Hope we can get him

  21. Every team wants him. He’ll talk to probably 5. His agent said they want to talk to Chicago. Not will. Want. Take that for what it’s worth.

  22. Another player in a similar situation is Tommy Dipauli of Notre Dame. 5’11 197 from Woodridge. Played for the Chicago mission and the NTDP. Scored the most goals for Notre Dame and 3rd in points. Probably not NHL ready. But probably not a prospect to completely dismiss. Was drafted by the Caps and will also be a UFA in a few weeks despite the Caps wanting to sign him.

  23. Nice post Travis. Interesting that Jiri Hudler has not signed yet.

    I wonder if Stan was completely up front with his agent and said look we want to sign the Vesey kid and he’s our target, but if we don’t get him and Jiri does not have a long term deal elsewhere, we would like circle back and bring him in.

    That certainly would give Hudler time to decide on the offers he has in hand or wait to see if the 3x Stanley Cup champs come calling roughly one month before camp.

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