Preds Acquire 3rd-Round Pick for Vesey Rights

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Not that any Predators fan is upset by this, but Nashville and the Buffalo Sabres organization came to an agreement this afternoon to trade the rights of Jimmy Vesey for a 3rd-round pick in this year’s NHL Draft.

Vesey, who won the 2016 Hobey Baker Memorial Award (presented to the outstanding collegiate hockey player), was drafted 66th overall by the Nashville Predators in the 2012 NHL Draft and was going to be quite the star forward for Music City…

Until right around the 2016 NHL trade deadline. To avoid beating a dead horse, basically it came down to a he said/she said conundrum. GM David Poile was claiming that Vesey and his agent (and his dad) agreed to join the Predators organization, while Vesey’s side was claiming the opposite. Either way, it rubbed Predators fans wrong, which it honestly should have. Probably not to the lengths that some people went to, but it’s always slightly embarrassing and frustrating when you have a player that decides he doesn’t want to play for your chosen organization. It may have just been business, but nobody likes to feel rejected.

Anyways, Buffalo now has Vesey’s rights, which is now their issue to work with while Nashville gains a 3rd-round pick. Who knows, Vesey may choose to sign with Buffalo, due in part to fellow Bostonian Jack Eichel being on the roster. Whatever happens, both Nashville and Buffalo have much to smile about and that is always good business. The 2016 NHL Draft will be held June 24th-25th in – surprise – Buffalo, New York.

Vesey shuns Nashville; Seeks UFA

2012 NHL Entry Draft - Portraits

Image Source: Google

Say it ain’t so, Joe Jimmy! #VeseyWatch is officially over as the Predators’ third round 2012 NHL Draft pick has chosen to go the route of unrestricted free agency instead of joining Nashville. TSN reporter Bob McKenzie was the first to break the news:

As you can imagine, the Preds Twitterverse was raging at this news with some people showing no surprise whatsoever, and others completely baffled.

While I wasn’t too surprised by this announcement, it was still very disappointing. As much as I think the Predators are doing fine without him and – who knows – adding him might throw off the chemistry and kill any chance of a deep playoff run (the kid has never seen a slice of NHL ice time), it is still frustrating to know Nashville will get nothing for drafting him.

It became even more frustrating when David Poile called an impromptu press conference during the first intermission regarding Vesey’s choice to wait out UFA.

“On Wednesday, we received a call that they were thinking about free agency. This was the first time that had ever been told to anyone in our organization. At that point, we kind of asked why and they just said it was the attraction of free agency. I said that I felt that this was a complete 180 and that I’d to have a meeting with Jimmy, his family, and his representatives. [I] spoke with his dad, I believe it was on Thursday, who seemed to be very much in favor of his son signing in Nashville and agreed to have a meeting sometime when the season was over. We called the agents and told them that Paul Fenton (Assistant GM) and I would come up to the game with Scott Nichol (Director of Player Development) on Friday to cheer Jimmy on. We met with the agents for about an hour up in Boston where we went over all their feelings and they thought it was good that we came up. [We] talked about a lot of things. We asked for a meeting and they said they would talk to Jimmy about that and hopefully we would have a meeting.

Paul Fenton and I came back here [Nashville] on Saturday. Scott Nichol stayed there in Boston because we invited Jimmy and his family and his representatives to come to Nashville whether he was signed or not, whether it be Saturday, Monday. Or, if not, Paul Fenton and I were going to go back to Boston to meet with all of them Tuesday. There’s been a lot of conversations, but never once did we ever get together to have a meeting.

Every indication was that he was going to sign with us. His dad had told me, Peter Laviolette, Scott Nichol, and Paul Fenton that his son was going to sign with us. And Jimmy himself told Paul Fenton prior to the trade deadline, which was an important time for us because it was our last opportunity to change our team. We told him if he was going to sign with us we were going to keep a position available for him, and he told us that he was going to sign with us.

So, for whatever reason, and after all the time and resources that we invested in Jimmy Vesey’s development, we could not get a meeting with Jimmy, his family, and his representatives all together. That’s the only thing I asked for after Wednesday and they would not accommodate us on that.”

The last two paragraphs from Poile’s press conference are what you need to take away from this. Both Jimmy and his father told David Poile that he [Vesey] would be signing with Nashville. Although Nashville made a move early before the Trade Deadline with the Jones/Johansen trade, Poile’s comments indicate that the organization would have possibly made more moves before the deadline, but were going by Vesey’s word that he would sign with the team once his season was over with Harvard.

Another important quote to take away from this presser is:

Now, take this information with a grain of salt. This does not mean Toronto or Boston or whoever put a little bug in his ear, but – on the other hand – who is to say they did not. Unrestricted Free Agency is a tasty little deal, but there is no denying Jimmy would’ve been given the best deal if he signed with Nashville. An automatic top 6 position in the lineup, playoff time, and the chance to burn a year on his entry-level contract? Yeah, there’s no doubt – if Jimmy wanted the best deal – he received bad advice, but if it really is all about the idea of signing wherever he wants, then here’s to hoping every team grovels at his feet for him to join.

Hockey is a business and the kid certainly has the right to change his mind, even after making all these lovely promises to the Predators organization. However, with business comes reputation and well, this making promises then tucking tail and not facing the music is a bit… sleazy. If he did honestly change his mind, he and his agents needed to man-up and explain their case to Nashville. That’s just my opinion, but I have a feeling some others would agree.

Honestly, I cannot blame the kid for seeking a chance to go wherever he wants, but I do not like how the negotiations were handled – or lack thereof. Vesey may want to find another set of agents, because their actions can reflect poorly on him and his character.

David Poile and his team still have rights to Vesey until August 15th, so the Predators GM claims he will continue to persuade Vesey to join the Predators organization. In my opinion, Nashville has plenty of up-and-coming talent in Milwaukee that should have a shot a the NHL, especially since these guys have already shown commitment to the Predators organization. If Vesey really wants to stay in Boston or play under the supervision of his father in Toronto, I say let him. The toughest part for Nashville is this loophole where players can go off to college or Europe and, after four years, hit UFA. And what does that team get after drafting the kid? Nothing. But that, my friends, is fight for another day.

Predators nab Nine Picks in 2012 NHL Draft

2012 NHL Draft

Though once thought a complete loss for the Predators, David Poile was able to work his magic at the last minute and seal Nashville with a few key draft picks in both the second and third rounds. Thanks to his maneuverability, the Predators picked up nine potential players yesterday in the 2012 NHL Draft. Here is a quick rundown of who Nashville nabbed and what they could bring in the future:

Pontus Aberg

Pontus Åberg – Predators first draft pick (37th overall)
Thanks to Poile’s slick trade move with Tampa Bay, the Nashville Predators were able to snag this young forward who is said to be the ninth best skater in the draft. Per scouting reports, Aberg has killer shooting accuracy, tremendous puck handling skills, and tends to pass the puck well (Trotz will like that). However, reports on consistency issues have been brought up, bring certain current players to mind (SK74). But, keep in mind, Aberg is tied to Swedish team Djugarden through the 2013-14 season, so the 19-year-old has plenty of time to outgrow any issues.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colton Sissons

Colton Sissons – Predators second draft pick (50th overall)
With their second pick in the draft, the Predators stepped away with another forward, this time Canadian Colton Sissons. Scouting reports have nothing but praise for this young Center, acknowledging his strong skating and defensive style, along with unique offensive characteristics. As the captain for the Kelowna Rockets, the trait of leadership shines with this kid, proving he’ll fit in just fine when he’s eventually called to Nashville.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jimmy Vesey

 

 

 

Jimmy Vesey – Predators third draft pick (66th overall)
The Predators chose an Ivy League bounder with their third pick, nabbing Left Winger and Boston native, Jimmy Vesey. Vesey is slated to play for Harvard this upcoming season, but don’t let his brains fool you; the kid broke the EJHL single-season scoring record (48-43-91), winning league MVP, and taking home the Bruins’ John Carlton Award for combining exceptional hockey skills with academic excellence. In his recent draft interview, Vesey stated that he looks up to Mike Fisher and has a thing for Country music. Sounds like, once makes his move to the NHL, Vesey will do just fine here.

 

Brendan Leipsic

Brendan Leipsic – Predators fourth draft pick (89th overall)
The Predators did a little trading with the New York Rangers to get their fourth pick, trading their 3rd Round pick in next year’s draft for a Canadian Left Winger, Brendan Leipsic. Currently on the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks roster, Leipsic is known for three attributes: speed, skating, and energy. However, similar to Aberg, Leipsic is prone to a bit of inconsistency at times. But, with his aggressive style and physical nature, Leipsic is bound to be a top forward at some point in his career.

 

 

 

 

Zach Stepan

Zachary Stepan – Predators fifth draft pick (112th overall)
Does his last name sound familiar? If you’re a fan of the New York Rangers, perhaps it does. Cousin to Derek Stepan, Zachary is blazing his own trail, even stating that he has been following the Predators for about two years now, impressed with how far the franchise has come. Stepan has trained under the Shattuck-St. Mary’s program, the same one that brought up Sidney Crosby. Speed, strength, and control keep this kid flying high on the radar, despite his small frame. His aggressiveness towards bigger players reminds us of a one, Francis Bouillon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mikko Vainonen

Mikko Vainonen – Predators sixth draft pick (118th overall)
With a name like Mikko, you must have guessed Nashville’s sixth draft pick hails from Finland. As Nashville’s first defenseman pick of the draft, Vainonen brings a lot to the table as defenseman go. At over 200 lbs, slow and steady is not an option for this Finn; Speed and his excellent stickwork make this kid a force to be reckoned with. However, as far as scouting reports go, most do not see this 18-year-old as more than just a puck pusher, but (being the age he is) he will have plenty of time to grow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simon Fernholm

Simon Fernholm – Predators seventh draft pick (164th overall)
Yet another Swede to add to the Predators potential roster is defenseman, Simon Fernholm. At 187 lbs, the young Swede will need some time to grow into his defenseman position, but again, time will help build his character as an NHLer.

 

 

 

 

 

Max Görtz

Max Görtz – Predators eighth draft pick (172nd overall)
…And the Predators pick up another Swede with their eighth pick, Right Winger Maz Gortz from Swedish team, Färjestad. Gortz is a large forward, with a good release and solid technical skills. He will stay with Färjestad at least another season.

 

 

 

 

Marek Mazanec

Marek Mazanec – Predators ninth draft pick (179th overall)
With the parting of Anders Lindback, the Predators chose, with their final pick of the draft, a goalie from the Czech Republic by the name of Marek Mazanec. At 6’4″, we’re pretty positive this Czech goalie is well on his way to fitting in just fine amongst the organization’s goalies.

 

 

 

 

You won’t have to wait too long to see how these nine draft picks match with one another, as the Predators Prospect Camp starts this week at Centennial Sportsplex. All in all, we would conclude that Nashville had a very successful draft day and that maybe, just maybe, David Poile should get a little pat on the back.