Jimmy Vesey shines again in battle to make New York Rangers

Jimmy Vesey is making a strong case to turn his Professional Tryout (PTO) into a standard NHL contract. In two preseason games, the 29 year-old forward has 1 goal and 2 assists as he continues to separate himself from the pack of players fighting for one of the few open spots on the roster.

The former Blueshirt started his career on Broadway and appears well on his way to earn at the least the 13th forward job, if not a starting role on the fourth line.

“From the first day of camp he worked hard and came here in good shape,” Gerard Gallant said. “He wants to play in the NHL and he’s making people think. That’s what people like Jimmy has to do.”

Jimmy Vesey making case to stick with Rangers

jimmy vesey
Apr 1, 2019; Newark, NJ, USA; New York Rangers left wing Jimmy Vesey (26) skates with the puck during the first period of their game against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Last season, he registered 8 goals and 15 points in 68 games for the New Jersey Devils. He came into the league as a top college free agent in 2016-17 where he was projected to be a top six forward. After three decent seasons in New York, he was traded to the Buffalo Sabres and his game fell off the map.

It took him several stops to realize if he wanted to play in the NHL a change was needed.

I took ownership of the fact that I had to re-invent myself as a fourth-line guy who could kill penalties,” he said. “I’m not one for pumping my own tires, but I think I did a pretty good job of that.” 

“I know management really valued the role Motte played here. I think I’m of that same mold and can fill that spot,” Vesey said. “I can skate, can kill penalties and I can still score if I shoot the puck.” 

NY Post

So far, he’s done a little of everything in camp. Against the Islanders on Monday, Gallant used him in all situations. He finished with 17:07 of ice time, picking up 1 hit, 3 blocks, and a scored a power play goal. He also played 1:25 shorthanded as the Rangers went 4-4 on the PK.

“Anytime you score it’s a good feeling but other than that me, Filip (Chytil), and Kravy (Kravtov) worked well together,” Vesey said. “I thought the penalty kill was good, so I’m happy with the effort.”

On Tuesday, Vesey was at it again for the Blueshirts registering assists on the team’s only two goals in the contest. Those points were all off hard work and getting into the dirty areas of the ice. Something this coaching staff covets.

The Rangers will play four more preseason games and Vesey will likely see more action. But for now, he’s been a standout to win a roster spot.

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