BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) The Buffalo Sabres have acquired the rights to unsigned prospect forward Jimmy Vesey in making a trade with the Nashville Predators.
The Predators essentially get back the third-round pick they used to draft Vesey. The team has until August 15 to sign him to an entry-level contract before he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
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If he does sign, Vesey would become the second straight Hobey Baker victor to sign with the Buffalo Sabres.
Now, however, Vesey has the opportunity to play with 2015 second overall pick and close friend Jack Eichel should he sign with Buffalo. That means he can become a free agent on August 15.
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The Sabres had the benefit of having a stockpile of draft picks - 12 overall entering the National Hockey League draft, which will be held in Buffalo this weekend. Deslauriers was eligible to become a restricted free agent this summer. He's put up over a point per game in his college career, putting up 24 goals and 22 assists in just 33 games as he carried the Crimson to the NCAA Tournament this year. Vesey could decline again to sign with the rights-holding team. He went 66th overall in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
"It's been pretty clear since late March that we're not going to be able to sign Jimmy Vesey", Predators general manager David Poile told The Tennessean.
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Although it's a risk by Buffalo Sabres GM Tim Murray, it's certainly a calculated one. "We have a spot in our Top 6 for him".