Jimmy Vesey was better than expected this season with the New Jersey Devils. He completely changed his focus and likely saved his NHL career. Being a penalty kill specialist with scoring upside will get you a contract with something. However, it likely doesn’t happen with the New Jersey Devils.
The Devils would likely give Vesey another PTO to see if another young player could take his spot, but he likely signs on with another team before that happens. Vesey played 981 minutes this season, 15th best on the Devils. 137 of those minutes came on the penalty kill. No other Devils forward killed more minutes than Vesey. He had a role, and he played it well.
The issue is Vesey’s offense fell off in a major way. Was that because he was going through the motions a little bit towards the end? We didn’t see that, but it’s hard to blame him if he did. We thought he might get traded at the deadline to a team looking for PK help in the playoffs. It didn’t happen, and he actually got injured towards the end of the season.
Vesey finished with eight goals and 15 assists this season. From February 13th to April 1st, he had one assist. It’s not good to have runs like that, and that will scare the Devils off from giving him a guaranteed NHL contract.