Jimmy Vesey
AP Photo

The New York Rangers have traded Jimmy Vesey to the Buffalo Sabres for a third-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft.

Frank Curto

Jeff Gorton and the New York Rangers have made their first trade of the offseason, sending Jimmy Vesey to the Buffalo Sabres for a third-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft.

Vesey, 26, was signed by the Blueshirts in the summer of 2016. He was originally drafted by the Nashville Predators in the third round, 66th overall, of the 2012 NHL Draft.

Vesey has played in 240 games in his career, all for the Rangers. He is coming off his career high in points last season as he recorded 17 goals with 25 points. His 17 goals tied him for a career high in that category as well.

The left wing was a versatile option for head coach David Quinn. Sometimes, he found himself skating on the team’s top line, but found himself demoted to the fourth line at times as well.

With the additions of Vitali Kravtsov and this year’s second-overall pick, Kaapo Kakko, Vesey days in a Rangers sweater were in serious doubt. This trade seemed like an inevitability.

The Rangers now have another $2.275 million freed up in cap space. Vesey was scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2019-2020 season.

The team may be lining itself to be in a better position to sign Artemi Panarin when free agency begins at noon on Monday. If the Rangers can land Panarin in free agency, their rebuild will be well ahead of schedule. The additions of Kakko, Jacob Trouba, and potentially Panarin will make the Rangers a dangerous squad.

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A graduate of St. John's University class of '91. I have been a fan of the New York Rangers since the days of Peter Puck. Founder of Ranger Proud, the Facebook page that covers all news, notes, pre /post-game stats, and player quotes. I can be reached at Nyrfc12@gmail.com