Rangers Stadium Series lines: Jimmy Vesey 1RW

The reaction when the Rangers signed Jimmy Vesey to a PTO to start the 2022-2023 season was rather humorous. Instead of wondering where he could fit, many were worried about which kid he would replace in the lineup. Vesey was a pleasant surprise for the Rangers, not replacing anyone in the lineup, en route to a Masterton nomination, a two year contract extension at under $1 million, and 11 goals and 25 points. I think it’s fair to say this worked out well.

What is interesting isn’t just the 11-14-25 scoring line last season, the first time since 2019-2020 that Vesey eclipsed both 10 goals and 20 points in a season, but it’s how he did it. Vesey was the Rangers every-man last season, and did a much better job at it than Barclay Goodrow. Vesey, at just $750k, was 51% puck possession player with a 54% xG share, one of the best on the Rangers in play without the puck.

What’s amazing about this is Vesey did it while being bounced around the lineup. He played over 100 minutes with 7 different forwards, ranging from Goodrow to Chris Kreider. He played over 100 minutes with all 7 defensemen as well. And this is just at 5v5.

Adding fuel to the fire, the Rangers may actually get more from Vesey in the next two seasons. There is reason to believe that his scoring line actually underperformed his on-ice performance, as his xG and puck possession shares were much higher than his offensive output. All while being an elite defensive player on a team that was constantly pinned in their own end.

Vesey did everything the Rangers could have asked for, and more. If this is the Vesey the Rangers get at $800k, then he’s one of the best bargains in the NHL. Slated for a bottom-six role this year with hopefully more consistent linemates, we may see an even better Vesey this coming season.

Grade: A

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