This former Hobey Baker trophy winner is probably the best feel-good story of the season for the New York Rangers. From the brink of being out of hockey to signing a two-year extension this year with the team, he started his NHL career with after bouncing around teams unable to find a new home, Jimmy Vesey has shown true perseverance, courage, strength, and just sheer determination.
In 81 games, Vesey recorded 11 goals and 14 helpers for 25 points. These are not earth-shattering totals, but they are enough to justify the Rangers’ optimism in bringing the Bostonian back after moving him to Buffalo all those years ago and watching him move around. New York signed him late in the summer to give him a home for the season and Vesey rewarded the team with one heck of a season.
One thing with Vesey is that he did this without ever truly finding a place in the lineup to call his. He spent time in the top six, he spent time on the third line, and he finished the year on the fourth line. There was nowhere for him to truly make his own. His inability to score at a 30+ point pace as he had done in seasons past in New York was what made it clear the Rangers needed to go and get another right-winger.
Another incredibly strong penalty killer, a seasoned veteran of this league, and a player that will give 110% for his team, Vesey is exactly the kind of person you want in the playoffs. Ignoring skill and ability, those qualities I talked about earlier embody the ideal human being you want on your team in the postseason. Add to that he’s strong defensively a good penalty killer and a strong energy guy, there’s not a lot to dislike.