The Rangers have traded LW Jimmy Vesey to the Sabres in exchange for a 2021 NHL Draft pick, the team announced on Monday.
Vesey was in the final year of his two-year, $4.55 million deal with New York, so the Rangers created a little more cap space by getting rid of his contract.
Is it a coincidence that Vesey is a left winger and the Rangers are aggressively pursuing top free agent LW Artemi Panarin ahead of NHL free agency kicking off at noon today? Not at all.
The Rangers have jump-started their rebuild this offseason beginning with the Jacob Trouba trade, and adding Kaapo Kakko with the second overall pick in this year's draft. Moving Vesey while adding a little more money to potentially add to a Panarin deal seems like the plan in this case.
Vesey, a third-round pick by the Predators back in 2012, has spent the past three seasons with the Blueshirts. Over that span, he totaled 90 points (50 goals, 40 assists) in 240 games played. His best season came last year with 35 points (17 goals, 18 assists).