Jimmy Vesey confirmed Wednesday the Boston Bruins are on the “short list” of NHL teams he is considering as he prepares to enter free agency for the first time.
Vesey, a North Reading, Mass., native, will become an unrestricted free agent Aug. 15 if he does not sign with the Buffalo Sabres before then. The 23-year-old winger met with the Sabres, who currently own his negotiating rights, last week but said he remains committed to testing his worth on the open market.
“I’ve said it all along that Boston is definitely on my list of teams that I’d like to talk to. It’s a team that I’ve rooted for all my life, and it’s a team that I watched win the Stanley Cup in 2011,” Vesey told CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty. “I’ll definitely be meeting with Boston in August.
“I was a huge Joe Thornton fan growing up. He wore No. 19. I wear No. 19. He was my favorite player. I got to know (Bruins defenseman) Torey Krug a little bit through playing with him at the world championships last year. So, it would be really cool to play with Torey and put on the Bruins jersey. It’s the team that I’ve watched for my whole life.”
The Bruins, Sabres and Toronto Maple Leafs long have been considered the front-runners to land the 2016 Hobey Baker Award winner, and Haggerty also named the New Jersey Devils and Pittsburgh Penguins as potential candidates.
Vesey shot down the notion that he’d be turned off by the sometimes overwhelming pressure that comes along with playing a professional sport in your hometown.
“I work out here in Foxboro with the Hayes brothers, and I’ve known them all my life,” he told Haggerty. “I have a good relationship with (Bruins winger and Dorchester native Jimmy Hayes), and he had nothing but good things to say about (the B’s). To a little bit of an extent, I’m a homebody, and I definitely have a big crew of family and friends in the Boston area, so it would be comforting to have them around. Like I said, a lot of things are on my mind right now.”
Vesey played in 33 games a senior at Harvard last season, tallying 24 goals and 22 assists.
Thumbnail screenshot via YouTube/HarvardAthletics