The Rangers have made another move adding more depth and flexibility to the bottom half of their roster. This time the player they’re bringing in is a familiar face.
While it may have only been six years ago, the Jimmy Vesey sweepstakes feel as if they’re from another lifetime. The Rangers signing the young winger out of Harvard University felt like an enormous win for the team in 2016. Nowadays, it’s almost impossible to identify or truly remember this feeling when our best prospect at the time was Brady Skjei. Don’t get me wrong, the team found a way to draft players that have developed into impact players or even legitimate NHL stars (Igor Shesterkin and Pavel Buchnevich) but our cupboard was running dry as the Rangers had made consecutive deep postseason runs and traded many of their recent first-round picks.
Vesey stayed with the Rangers for three seasons, never quite living up to the hype surrounding him coming out of the NCAA. To be fair this wasn’t Vesey’s fault, expectations for him skyrocketed as he chose to not sign with his drafted team and test free agency. As teams competed to add him to their roster, the anticipation, and assumption of what type of player he would be kept growing and growing until many folks thought he would be a natural goal scorer and have his way with the league. When this is compared to the reality of what he accomplished in the NHL, he fell quite short as his most productive season saw him score 35 points for the Rangers in 81 games.
With his return to the Blueshirts, it’s now very clear and transparent as to what the Rangers are getting, a journeyman winger who plays a hard-nosed game yet has a touch of skill when put in the right situation and could fit well on the fourth line. If anything he will add competition to training camp, give Gallant some flexibility in managing a roster and add some depth to the Rangers’ system.