Agent: Jimmy Vesey has 'a lot to think about' after meeting teams

ByJoe McDonald ESPN logo
Thursday, August 18, 2016

After two days of meetings with seven teams, NHL prospect Jimmy Vesey and his agents are scheduled to sit and discuss the player's options, beginning at 4 p.m. Thursday.

A decision will not be made Thursday, but one is expected by Saturday, and perhaps as early as Friday.

Vesey, 23, is the reigning winner of the Hobey Baker Award, given to the top men's college hockey player. He became a free agent at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.

In addition to the Buffalo Sabres, who owned exclusive negotiating rights from June 20 to this past Monday, Vesey met with the New York Rangers, New York Islanders, New Jersey Devils, Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, Pittsburgh Penguins and Chicago Blackhawks during separate meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday in Boston.

"Impressive meetings with a lot of different perspectives has certainly given the camp a lot to think about," said Peter Donatelli, one of Vesey's agents.

Despite reports, no team has been told it is out of the running, according to Donatelli.

"No, that's not true at all," Donatelli said. "None of the teams we met with have been told that. Everyone is still in the mix. We're going to try and drill down right now to a few [teams] and then either call some teams with some questions or not. We'll probably reach out to a few teams with some questions that we think were either unanswered or we want clarification on, but that's the intent today."

The Blackhawks' Patrick Kane was in Boston for Chicago's meeting with Vesey. The Devils' Cory Schneider and Kyle Palmieri spoke with Vesey, too. The Rangers' Kevin Hayes, a Boston native, has talked with Vesey numerous times this summer while both work out together. The Islanders' John Tavares was also in Boston on Tuesday to make his pitch on behalf of the organization. When the Bruins hosted Vesey at the team's new practice facility, numerous Bruins players were in attendance to greet him. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby also reached out to Vesey.

Vesey's decision will probably come down to which organization gives him the best opportunity to succeed in a top-six role, including special teams. The winner of the Vesey sweepstakes will sign him to an entry-level deal with a base salary of $925,000, plus as much as $1.925 million in performance bonuses.