Jimmy Vesey has officially found his way back to the Big Apple. The New York Rangers announced this afternoon that they’ve signed the forward to a one-year deal. The team has not yet disclosed the salary or whether the contract is a one-way or two-way deal. The New York Post’s Mollie Walker reports that the deal is worth $750,000, the league minimum. Vesey had been in Rangers camp on a PTO after spending the 2021-22 season as a member of rival New Jersey Devils.
Much like Zach Aston-Reese who signed moments earlier with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Rangers bring in a scrappy two-way forward of their own who should help them round out their game and contribute to the unsung areas of the game. Vesey was in fact one of the league’s better penalty killers during his time in New Jersey, where he also added an additional eight goals and seven assists in 68 games. Now 29, Vesey returns to the Rangers for the first time since the 2018-19 season, a career-year for him, but his last in Manhattan before the team dealt him upstate o the Buffalo Sabres that offseason.
Vesey is perhaps best known as the exciting prospect out of Harvard University who ultimately refused to sign his ELC with either team that held his rights – the Nashville Predators, who drafted him, and the Sabres, who acquired his rights. After becoming a free agent in the summer of 2016, a then-23-year-old Vesey opted to sign with the Rangers. The forward was far from bad during his first stint with the team, but he had failed to live up to the lofty expectations many had set for him. After being dealt to Buffalo in 2019, he bounced around, eventually spending time with Toronto, New Jersey, and even briefly the Vancouver Canucks.
Despite not putting up the offensive numbers he was once able to earlier in his career, Vesey did impress this season with the Devils, his ability to work hard and kill penalties evident, which seemed to give him an opportunity this offseason to prove he still belongs in the NHL. The Rangers gave him that opportunity with an invite to training camp in early September and the winger returned the favor with a strong showing in camp. Now, as the Rangers eye their first Stanley Cup since 1994, they’ll have another veteran to rely on, especially in the difficult situations along the way.