Rangers’ Jimmy Vesey seems destined to make opening-night roster

It’s unclear whether or not the Rangers will finally carry 22 or 23 gamers on their opening-night roster, however whatever the configuration, it’s getting onerous to depart Jimmy Vesey off the projection.

With a group bonding journey to Windfall, R.I. arising and two video games left within the exhibition season, Vesey, who was signed to knowledgeable tryout contract forward of camp, has carried out nicely within the three preseason video games through which he has gotten an opportunity. He has two assists in these contests, plus a power-play purpose and a diving cease on an Andreas Johnsson scoring probability at six-on-four on the finish of the match Friday towards the Devils in Newark.

Vesey has been right here earlier than, in additional methods than one. He made the Devils final yr on knowledgeable tryout contract (PTO), and scored twice in three preseason video games. And naturally he performed for the Rangers from 2016-19. His stall within the locker room now could be close to that of Chris Kreider, considered one of his teammates from these years.

“He’s very tenacious,” Kreider advised The Submit. “Works his ass off. … A man that always needs to get higher, always needs to enhance, needs to be a difference-maker and you may inform his particulars are quite a bit higher than they have been the primary few years, which was very constant.

Jimmy Vesey #26 of the New York Rangers skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on September 30, 2022 in Newark, New Jersey.
Jimmy Vesey’s latest sturdy play might land him a roster spot on the Rangers.
Picture by Bruce Bennett/Getty Pictures

“He’s the type of man who’s actual straightforward to play with. Will get on pucks, wins battles, performs bodily, has a great stick. Performs fast and easy, strikes onerous, will get to the web. There’s a motive why he’s performed so nicely with a bunch of various traces, he’s very straightforward to play with. Sensible hockey participant.”

The Rangers have a spot nonetheless up for grabs on their fourth line, with Ryan Reaves, Dryden Hunt, Julien Gauthier and Vesey all within the combine. Reaves will likely be on the roster barring one thing unexpected, although how usually he’ll play in comparison with sitting within the press field is  an open query. Rangers coach Gerard Gallant stated following  apply Saturday that the Rangers probably have one spot open on protection and one within the ahead group.

“There’s in all probability a number of guys who you possibly can determine who’re preventing for these spots,” Gallant stated.

Vesey, a grinder who can play on the penalty kill and notched an even-strength anticipated targets charge above 50 p.c on a nasty Devils group final season, per Pure Stat Trick, has turned himself into one of many premier contenders.

“It’s been good to date,” Vesey advised The Submit of coaching camp. “I feel stepping into, the preseason video games could be a very powerful. I feel you possibly can in all probability break these up into the primary 4 and the final two. First 4 went nicely and now we gotta regroup and prepare for the final two.”

By way of the tail finish of the match Friday, Vesey was ready for an opportunity to indicate what he might do on the penalty kill. As time wound down, he ended up with a shot to play at a six-on-four drawback and got here up with a marquee play.

Not like earlier in his profession, when you can write his identify on the roster in pen, Vesey is discovering it straightforward to rise up for the preseason.

“I feel in a bizarre manner [being on a PTO] would possibly really assist,” he stated. “Simply because the preseason can kinda be a go-through-the-motions-type factor. Whereas I’ve to be centered each recreation and it’s the second yr in a row I’ve gotten a PTO. So I feel I kinda know the drill.”

Certainly, he’s executing as if he does.

The Rangers introduced their coaching camp roster right down to 29 on Saturday, assigning Will Cuylle, Ty Emberson, Tim Gettinger, Lauri Pajuniemi and Andy Welinski to AHL Hartford.

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