Nashville Predators prospect Jimmy Vesey has had some pretty great experiences so far in his young career. The 2012 3rd Round pick (66th overall) of the Predators is currently playing in the Ivy League with Harvard University and he represented the United States in the 2013 World Junior Championship, where he won gold. In his seven games at the World Junior Championship in 2013, Vesey notched five points (1G-4A), while playing on the top line in the latter part of the tournament. For the Crimson last season, Vesey accumulated 22 points (13G-9A) in 31 games. The 6’1″ 195-pound Vesey has good size and his skill is continuing to develop. Before even having aspirations of making the big club, he first wants to help lead the Harvard Crimson to the NCAA tournament.
“We haven’t had a lot of success in my two years,” said Vesey. “We’ve had a really young team both years and this year we’re really looking to make a huge improvement. Hopefully we can make it to the NCAA tournament.”
Playing in the Ivy League is not an easy task. Schoolwork can be strenuous at times. Add to that being a student athlete, and the stress can easily build up on a player. For Vesey, he likes that combination.
“I really like the mix,” said Vesey. “I like having the school side and then coming down to the rink every day practicing.”
Those that have yet to experience a college hockey game in the northeast should try to some time in their life. It’s a unique experience. It’s played in small, but always full, loud rinks. There’s a lot of tradition to be found at each school.
“The Ivy League is one of the most storied leagues,” said Vesey. “Harvard has a rich tradition in hockey with a few Hobey Baker [Award] winners and guys that have went on to play in the NHL. We play against Yale and Cornell, which are two huge rivalries. Those games are always sold out.”
Before heading back to Harvard for the fall, Vesey came into the Nashville Predators development camp as a seasoned vet and with a better comfort level of getting on the ice with the coaching staff.
“This is my third camp, so I was a lot more comfortable at this one than the first,” said Vesey. “I think I’ve made a lot of good strides over the past two years in college. I’m just trying to make a good impression on the organization and the coaching staff.”
Since Scott Nichol took over as Director of Player Development, there have been some changes made to how the camp is operated. Add to that the addition of Peter Laviolette, and the camp was very different from others Vesey attended in the past.
“I think Scott Nichol kind of sat back and kind of observed last year since it was his first year,” said Vesey. “This year, I think he’s changed the format of the camp to put his stamp on it. I think the camp this year gave us a bit more free time and not as many long days. We’re working hard in spurts and I liked it better this year.”
Vesey has two more years left to play at Harvard where he’ll continue to grow in size and skill. He’s setting up to be a power forward and that is certainly good for the depth of the organization. As long as he continues in his path, we could see Vesey begin his professional career as soon as he finishes his time with the Crimson.