Forward Jimmy Vesey is expected to make his New York Rangers debut in a preseason game against the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden on Thursday.
Vesey, who agreed to terms with the Rangers as a free agent on Aug. 19, is expected to skate on a line with Rick Nash and Kevin Hayes.
"I'm the smallest guy on the line. I usually consider myself a bigger guy," Vesey (6-foot-3, 207 pounds) told the Rangers website this week. "I think we all have good hockey sense and like to use our bodies down low. I think if we can hang on to pucks below the dots, we can be successful."
Vesey led the Traverse City Prospects Tournament, held this month, with five goals and seven points.
"It was my first experience with pro games, even though it was a rookie tournament," the 23-year-old said. "I thought it was good hockey and I definitely wanted to make a good first impression on the Rangers organization, so I feel good about how I played and just trying to carry that over into [training] camp."
Vesey, who played for Harvard, and Hayes, who played for Boston College, are friends, and Hayes reportedly helped recruit Vesey to the Rangers after he did not sign with the Buffalo Sabres, who acquired him in a trade with the Nashville Predators, who selected him in the third round (No. 66) of the 2012 NHL Draft.
"Definitely easy playing with him," Vesey said. "I'm comfortable communicating with him. That's a big part of the game, just positioning and talking to your linemates. He's definitely been a big tool for me to lean on this summer and in camp."