In a cost cutting move to prepare to land big fish Artemi Panarin, the Rangers sent forward Jimmy Vesey upstate to the Sabres in exchange for a third round pick in 2021.
The trade was first reported by TSN insider Darren Dreger. It had been rumored for over a week. The Sabres had interest in acquiring Vesey to help boost their secondary scoring. So, it made sense for both teams to do business.
Ironically, it was Buffalo who sacrificed a third round pick in 2016 to try to sign Vesey out of Harvard. However, he didn’t want to sign there and instead became a Ranger in August of that summer.
The 26-year old Boston native spent three years on Broadway. He never quite fulfilled expectations. Despite his 6-3, 199 pound frame, Vesey never topped over 17 goals in any season. In ’16-17, he went 16-11-27 in 80 games and then had five points (1-4-5) in 12 playoff games.
This past season under coach David Quinn, he did establish a new career high with 35 points (17-18-35) over 81 contests. It’s unfortunate that be wasn’t more consistent in the scoring department. It certainly wasn’t from lack of effort.
On the Blueshirts, Vesey never became more than a third liner. Now that he’s going to Buffalo, there’s more of an opportunity for him to be higher on the depth chart. The Sabres don’t exactly have much scoring help for Jack Eichel, Jeff Skinner and Sam Reinhardt. They could be a good fit.
Vesey has a year remaining on his contract. His cap number is $2.275 million. We’ll see if a change of scenery in a contract year benefits him.
The Rangers cleared necessary space to sign Panarin. More on that big move when it becomes official.