NEW YORK – The New York Rangers have won the Jimmy Vesey sweepstakes.
New York announced Friday it agreed to terms on an entry-level deal with the coveted college free agent.
Vesey was the Hobey Baker Award winner as the NCAA’s player of the year last season for Harvard. The 23-year-old forward had 24 goals and 22 assists in 33 games.
During four years at Harvard, the 6-foot-3, 203-pound North Reading, Massachusetts, native had 144 points in 128 games.
Originally drafted by the Nashville Predators in the third round (66th overall) of the 2012 draft, Vesey said he wouldn’t sign by the Aug. 15 deadline. The Predators traded his rights to the Buffalo Sabres for a third-round pick in the 2016 draft.
Vesey met with several teams this week and ultimately chose to join the Rangers, who had several celebrities and New York-area athletes trying to convince him to go there.
Darryl McDaniels from Run-DMC, Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard, Jets defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson and former Giants defensive end Justin Tuck were among those who tweeted at Vesey vouching for the Rangers.
NHL rules limit the contract to two years with a base salary of $925,000 and bonuses, so Vesey’s decision came down to the right fit and opportunity.
The Rangers have been looking to get younger after not making a first-round pick since 2012. Vesey should be able to slot in as a top-nine forward beginning next season.
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