Harvard forward Jimmy Vesey, one of the best players in college hockey this season, will not sign with the Nashville Predators and join them for a 2016 Stanley Cup playoff run.
Instead, Vesey will exercise his right to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Predators general manager David Poile, who attempted to get a deal done with Vesey after the Crimson’s season ended in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, was not happy with the decision.
Vesey apparently turned down a pretty good situation, too.
Vesey is able to become a UFA despite not having seven years of NHL experience or being 27 years old because it’s been four years since Nashville drafted him (third round, 2012) and he hasn’t signed yet since he was in school for four years.
The 22-year-old left winger will become the best college free agent in recent memory — even better than Justin Schultz, Kevin Hayes and Mike Reilly.
Speculation is that Vesey will sign with the Toronto Maple Leafs, with the reasoning being they hired his father as a scout last season and his brother was drafted by them in 2014. Still, we would expect most of the league to show some kind of interest given his talent.
Nashville holds Vesey’s rights until Aug. 15, so it still has plenty of time to try and change his mind.
Vesey tallied 46 points (24 goals, 22 assists) in 33 games for Harvard this season.
Thumbnail photo via Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports Images