Vesey already may have some chemistry with a Ranger not named Kevin Hayes

Vesey scores as Miller drives to the net (IIHF)

Vesey scores as Miller drives to the net (IIHF)

Jimmy Vesey may be close friends with Kevin Hayes, but he had the most success playing on a line with J.T. Miller at the 2013 World Junior Championships. Playing the opposite wing on the top line centered by Johnny Gaudreau, they led the U.S. team to GOLD.

That line combined for 23 points in 7 games and set the pace for the United States’ championship run that culminated in a 3-1 win over Sweden. Both Gaudreau and Miller finished with 9 points, while Vesey finished with 5. Johnny Hockey was certainly a huge driving force as their center, but Miller and Vesey played beautifully off each other and showed chemistry.

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Where To Play Vesey

Many people feel that he should play on a third line with Kevin Hayes and why not? “I’m good friends with Kevin Hayes,” Vesey said during his presser. “He is someone that I have known since childhood and we played a together growing up and skated in the summer.” Rumor has it that Vesey was even hanging at Hayes’ apartment during this offseason and that they spoke often about the process since Hayes went through it just 2 years ago.

Vesey self describes his game as a mix of skill and power. Sounds a lot like Miller’s game and if he plays on the opposite wing with Mika Zibanejad in the middle, the Blueshirts could have a Crash and Dash line. That would be a total compliment to a skill top line with Rick Nash and Mats Zuccarello centered by Derek Stepan.

The problem is that Chris Kreider playing on a 3rd line isn’t exactly optimum, especially after signing his big contract. Plus both Kevin Hayes and Pavel Buchnevich on a line sounds like a defensive nightmare.

So, let me propose this:

Jimmy Vesey – Kevin Hayes – J.T. Miller

The concern is Pavel Buchnevich bumping up to the 2nd line, but since Chris Kreider can speak a smidgen of Russian, it may work. The other possibility, and it is slim at this point is if Nash were to be dealt, Kreider can play top line and the Crash and Dash line can actually become a reality.

Either way, the Rangers adding Vesey and his familiarity with both Miller and Hayes bodes well for his immediate success.

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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