5:06pm: The Rangers have confirmed the signing via Twitter.
4:56pm: TSN’s Bob McKenzie is reporting via Twitter that free agent forward Jimmy Vesey has signed with the New York Rangers. Vesey, 23, had been recruited heavily by NHL teams. Teams reported to have expressed interest included the Hurricanes, Blue Jackets, Flyers, and Penguins. Reported finalists for Vesey included the Blackhawks, Islanders, Maple Leafs, Penguins, Devils, and Bruins. The Sabres had previously owned his rights, owing to a draft-day trade with the Nashville Predataors. Those rights expired this week, and Vesey became a free agent.
This brings to an end the off-season’s longest drama. Vesey originally became a subject of speculation when reports suggested he had planned to hold out until free agency rather than sign with the Predators, who drafted him. Many early reports named the Maple Leafs, who employ his father, and drafted his brother, or his hometown Bruins as likely favorites. In the end, the New York Rangers, spoken about little throughout this process, come away the winners.
Vesey, a left winger, had 24 goals and 46 points in 33 games for Harvard this year. In 2015, he put up even stronger numbers, scoring 32 goals and 58 points in 37 games for the Crimson. It is widely assumed he will play in the NHL right away.
Contract terms have not yet been released, but it is widely believed to be the maximum contract given to this kind of rookie. That would make it a two-year contract.