Blackhawks News

Chicago Blackhawks Could Be Part Of Jimmy Vesey Watch

By Sean Fitzgerald
Dec 3, 2015; Nashville, TN, USA; General view of the All Star game logo on the jersey of Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis (4) during the second period against the Florida Panthers at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 3, 2015; Nashville, TN, USA; General view of the All Star game logo on the jersey of Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis (4) during the second period against the Florida Panthers at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /
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On Monday, Nashville Predators General Manager David Poile announced one of the team’s previous draft picks, winger Jimmy Vesey, would purse free agency. The Predators had invested a third-round pick on Vesey in 2012 and hoped to sign him after his college career had ended at Harvard.

Vesey was offered an entry-level contract and a top-six forward spot. He also would play for the Predators in the 2016 Stanley Cup playoffs. By patricipating in the playoffs, Vesey would have burned up a year of his entry level contract, giving him the ability to garner a bigger contract sooner. With all that being offered to Vesey, he still decided to pursue free agency. Vesey will be the most sought after college free agent in recent history. He should garner more attention than Justin Schultz and former Blackhawks draft pick Kevin Hayes.

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Vesey has top-six forward potential and scoring pedigree. Vesey had racked up 80 goals in his four-year career with Harvard, with 56 goals coming in the last two season. He also won a gold medal with Team USA at World Junior Championship and played on Team USA at World Championships last year. Team USA won the bronze medal, and Vesey played against some NHL players.

Vesey cannot become a free agent until August 15, and my expectation is the Chicago Blackhawks will be involved in the Vesey hunt. The Blackhawks cannot guarantee Vesey what the Predators had to offer, as they cannot offer the max entry-level contract and maximum bonuses. (The Blackhawks could be paying Artemi Panarin bonuses next season.)

The Blackhawks can offer the opportunity to play for a great organization, and more importantly a winning organization. The Blackhawks have clinched a playoff spot for the eighth consecutive year, which is the third longest streak in the NHL. Let’s not forget the Blackhawks have won three Stanley Cups in six years and been to the conference finals five out of the last seven years. The Blackhawks have been consistent winners since the year 2009.

Vesey would also have the opportunity to play with stars Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. He could also be given the opportunity to play on the top line with Toews and Marian Hossa. Andrew Ladd figures to get paid by another team this offseason. In addition to playing with veterans, he could also grow with younger players Teuvo Teravainen and Panarin for years to come.

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If winning is the most important thing to Vesey out of college, then the Blackhawks are a serious contender. If money is the most important thing, the Blackhawks are not even on the list.

Before everyone writes off the Blackhawks, this team has won the services of highly sought after college free agents before. Last year, 16 teams were pursing Kyle Baun. He ultimately chose to sign with the Blackhawks. Baun has yet to realize his full potential with the organization due to injury.

August 15 is a, at this point, a lifetime away, so let the Vesey speculation begin.

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