We have a Blueseatblogs Fantasy Hockey league where one of the divisions is called The Jimmy Vesey Hype Train. It’s fair to say that if it isn’t already full steam ahead on the hype front for Jimmy Vesey then one or two more impressive performances in the near future and the hype train will definitely be out of control.
While Vesey has been hugely impressive thus far, it’s important to temper expectations (sorry folks). Vesey has exceeded expectations thus far with his production, the way he has eased himself into the line-up, as well as his play both on and off the puck. He looks destined for a strong rookie year and is clearly justifying all the excitement and buzz that was created during his free agency tour of the league. With that all said, Rangers fans shouldn’t panic if he cools off, or hits some rough patches and the media around the team shouldn’t put too much pressure on Vesey.
It’s important to look at some of the significant numbers around Vesey. We often talk of the college wall many players traditionally hit when making the jump from college to the NHL and last season Vesey played a mere 33 games for Harvard. There’s a legitimate risk that by January Vesey could be running on empty. Kevin Hayes, who coped well in his rookie year, played 40 games in his last college season. Many players however have suffered during their first NHL seasons.
Then there’s Vesey’s unsustainable shooting percentage. Vesey is shooting over 31% in the early going which is obviously not sustainable. While Vesey could counteract the eventual regression by shooting more (he’s averaging less than 2 shots per game thus far) it’s fair to assume Vesey will come down to earth somewhat. Don’t be shocked by a goal drought.
Oscar Lindberg also had a great start to his Rangers career, flying out of the gates last season with four goals in his first three games (he was arguably the Rangers best forward in early October) and he had potted seven by early November. While Lindberg played injured last year, and doesn’t possess the offensive upside of Vesey, it’s clear that rookies can jump out to a quick start and then cool off. It happens all over the league.
Vesey has been everything and more in October. He’s added size and skill to the line-up and really given the Rangers enviable depth in the early going. He’s given the Rangers another finisher to compliment all the playmakers and pass first forwards the team has. Vesey’s presence has changed the dynamic of the Rangers offense and that is a good thing.
Rangers’ fans should enjoy Vesey’s fast start and enjoy the league leading offense we’re watching dismantle the likes of Tampa Bay. Just don’t panic when, in Jimmy Vesey case, one of it’s key cogs comes back down to earth somewhat. Vesey can be a legitimate Calder trophy candidate and if Alain Vigneault manages him carefully he could have a great season but there will be difficult times ahead – this isn’t pessimism, it’s just important to be realistic. For Vesey and the fanbase.