Possibly the biggest storyline left in the offseason is that of Harvard College forward Jimmy Vesey. Many teams around the league have been suitors for the young forward, who has talent that could land him a top six position on most teams. The list of teams that are likely to land Vesey has changed multiple times, but the most notable teams in the mix include the Chicago Blackhawks, Vancouver Canucks, Buffalo Sabers, Boston Bruins, and the Toronto Maple Leafs. For a short time, the Flyers were among those names. Some of the teams listed have pretty obvious perks. But if Vesey were to sign with the Flyers, how would he work in the lineup, and how would he benefit from it?Obviously, it’s a long shot and there are already favorites in the #VeseyWatch, he grew up a Brins fan, he has family within the Leafs organization, and Chicago is on the list because Chicago is a part of everything. But Philly does have some positives.
A talent evaluation makes Vesey seem like a perfect fit for the Flyers current plan.
Vesey is a big winger who is a skilled passer and sees the game well. He is more than just an up-and-down player as he possesses skill and smarts that make him a dangerous player in the offensive zone. Vesey does not shy away from the physical game but could be more active in that area. His defensive zone coverage is inconsistent at times.
Vesey’s style of play is what the building Flyers want. A smart, skilled, speedy forward who isn’t a huge defensive liability and isn’t afraid to get a little physical. Vesey’s style of play, size, and skill make the Harvard winger quite comparable to Sean Couturier, a forward who flourished under Dave Hakstol this past season. There seem to be concerns about his defensive coverage which would undoubtedly be something that Dave Hakstol would focus on fixing.
Despite an abundance of forwards, the Flyers have holes that they could fill on the roster. A strong top six left winger is possibly the biggest hole. Vesey would no doubt be able to help in some way, either slotting into the Flyers top six or allowing another player to move up in the lineup. There is an open left wing spot and an open spot on the second power-play unit as well. Vesey is absolutely a top 9 forward on any club in the NHL. The Flyers could offer Vesey a top six spot immediately.
The Flyers also have an excess of young players who are ready to start their NHL careers. Travis Konecny, Ivan Provorov, and even Russian forward Roman Lyubimov are the beginning of the next wave of Flyers hockey, and who wouldn’t want to be a part of that group?
Vesey is an intelligent guy, on and off the ice. He decided to finish out his college career at Harvard to make sure he has a backup when he doesn’t have hockey anymore. Anyone who looks hard enough can see the Flyers path forward, and it’s a good one. Any young player with Vesey’s skillset would be able to flourish under Hakstol’s system.