Rangers are giving Jimmy Vesey every opportunity to succeed
(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

New York Rangers’ winger Jimmy Vesey has been given every opportunity to prove himself, and that does not seem like it is going to change.

Dom Renna

It seems like yesterday that many considered the New York Rangers the big winners when it came to the Jimmy Vesey sweepstakes. Three years later and he has not necessarily lived up to the hype.

2017-18 was a disappointing season for many Rangers, including Vesey. He was expected to have a big sophomore campaign following an impressive rookie season in 2016-17 where he scored 27 points (16-11-27). The problem is, his numbers did not improve one bit during the 2017-18 with 28 points (17-11-28).

Vesey seemed like the only young player that former head coach Alain Vigneault trusted to play big-time minutes. In his first two seasons, he saw action playing on the top line with Rick Nash and Derek Stepan or Mats Zuccarello and Kevin Hayes. He was given every opportunity to succeed but did not.

In 2018-19, Vesey and his role were up in the air. With the Blueshirts’ going in a youth direction, there were plenty of spots up in the air and competition all around. Vesey had to come in and prove that he was worth the contract they gave him. The club gave him a two-year bridge deal with a $2.27 million AAV expecting him to take the next step.

But, Vesey failed to live up to those expectations and really was missing all throughout the preseason. Thinking about the competition going on throughout camp, you would think his role would be somewhat limited at the start of the season? Wrong.

Yes, you read that correctly, Vesey has been practicing on the team’s second line. What makes this even more bizarre, is that Quinn is going with him over the likes of Vladislav Namestnikov. A guy who, despite his struggles in New York, scored 48 points and has more upside offensively.

But wait, it gets even better.

That’s right, Vesey is also seeing time on the second power play unit. Yes, he is seeing time over Namestnikov (again), and even the skilled rookie Filip Chytil.

What we are seeing here is that, like Vigneault, David Quinn is going to give Vesey every opportunity to succeed. Now, this is something you like to see coming from Quinn, who is known for communicating and developing. But, the difference here is that Vesey is not the player that fans thought he would be. He is not the player who will go out there and score you 25-to-30 goals.

He simply is a third liner at best. A player that can fill in on your second line when your team is going through some injury woes. A player who has the skill, but has shown that he has not yet been able to put it together. He is the player that struggled mightily throughout the month of October last year when he scored just three points.

Quinn can give Vesey all the chances he wants, but until Vesey goes out there and proves he is more than a third liner, his line will struggle. The team will struggle. If Quinn truly is about getting better on a daily basis, then this combination with Vesey on the second line and Namestnikov on the fourth will only last a week.

Or Vesey can prove us wrong and come out a different player in 2018-19. The only thing we know is that he will be given every opportunity to do just that.

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  1. AND SHINE HE DID LAST NIGHT!!! Well after watching their Home Opener last night, Jimmy Vesey EASILY looked like the BEST FORWARD on the ice for the Rangers during the entire game!!! But not sure why you think that “THE INVISIBLE MAN” — Vlad Namestnikov is SUCH A GOOD PLAYER!!!! He was BARELY VISIBLE last night as usual — going back to the 19 games that he played with the Rangers last year and scored only 4 points — and had 2 points in his very first game with the Rangers!! Right now, he is a 4th line player and unless Quinn and the coaches see ANYTHING MORE SIGNIFICANT FROM HIM OFFENSIVELY THIS SEASON, THAT’S EXACTLY WHERE HE WILL STAY, AND PROBABLY BELONGS.

    So watching Jimmy Vesey skate all around and through the defense of one of THE BEST DEFENSE’S AND OVERALL TEAMS IN THE NHL IN THE PREDATORS, I CANNOT AGREE AT ALL WITH YOU DOM ABOUT THE DISPARAGING AND NEGATIVE REMARKS THAT YOU WROTE ABOUT HIM ABOVE. It”s ONLY 1 GAME of course, but he DEFINITELY SHOWED THAT HE IS VERY CAPABLE OF BEING A 2ND LINE PLAYER —- ESPECIALLY OVER THE “INVISIBLE MAN”!!! I’m VERY OPTIMISTIC going forward for his continued development this season. Don’t forget, he was NEVER DRAFTED by any NHL team and was signed as a FA by the Rangers after winning the HOBEY BAKER AWARD when he won it his senior season at Harvard. So the guy has SOME OFFENSIVE TALENT, SKILL and ABILITY and may not be Filip Chytil in terms of LONG-TERM EXPECTATIONS, BUT I WAS VERY ENCOURAGED WHAT I SAW FROM HIM LAST NIGHT.

    Let’s just hope that he continue being as effective as he was last night vs. the Predators. I think he may reach 40 points this season based on what I saw from him but if he continues getting 2nd line minutes with Hayes and Zuccarello, then I think he DEFINITELY is capable of a 40 point season —- or more.

    • And just to confirm that Jimmy Vesey is showing a lot more confidence and OFFENSIVE ABILITY through the first 3 games of the season, he FINALLY CAPITALIZED on all the good scoring opportunities that he has been GETTING or CREATING HIMSELF and scored 2 nice goals last Sunday vs. the Hurricanes. So for the time being, he looks DEFINITELY BETTER than “THE INVISIBLE MAN” Namestnikov and this WASTE was signed for 2 years at $4M a year while Vesey is being paid only about $2.3M a year for 2 years, but so far, he has been the MUCH BETTER PLAYER than Namestnikov, especially after Quinn sat him as a HEALTHY SCRATCH on Saturday night vs. Buffalo!!! I DEFINITELY KNOW WHO I WOULD RATHER HAVE ON THE RANGERS IF THERE IS A DECISION TO BE MADE BETWEEN VESEY AND NAMESTNIKOV AND IT’S NOT EVEN CLOSE!!!!