The 27-year-old may be best remembered for choosing not to sign with Nashville who drafted him or Buffalo who dealt for his rights before embarking on a free agent tour that most college players get the opportunity to do. While he hasn’t become a core forward like teams had hoped, Vesey has been a capable secondary scorer over his four-year NHL career. After spending his first three seasons with the Rangers, he was traded to Buffalo last offseason but the fit wasn’t a great one as he managed just eight goals and 12 assists in 64 games after having at least 27 points in each year with New York. That certainly played a role in him going from a $2.275MM AAV on this last deal to less than half of that in this one.
Vesey will likely be given an opportunity to fill the vacancy opened up by Saturday’s trade of Andreas Johnsson to New Jersey although youngster Nick Robertson and KHL acquisition Alexander Barabanov are both likely to be in the mix for that spot as well.
Toronto still has winger Ilya Mikheyev (who filed for arbitration yesterday) and defenseman Travis Dermott to re-sign and cap space is limited no matter which players round out their roster. Accordingly, the Maple Leafs may still have some cap trimming to do in the coming days and weeks.