New York Islanders captain John Tavares made his formal pitch to free agent forward Jimmy Vesey to sign with them, ESPN.com reported Wednesday.
The Islanders reportedly are one of seven teams Vesey met with, and he could sign with one of them as early as Friday. Vesey met with Islanders front office staff on Tuesday.
"There's obviously not a lot going on in the hockey world right now, so with Jimmy's decision coming up and him being a very good prospect, and potentially to really impact the lineup right away because of his age (23), and his skill set and maturity level, he's obviously a high priority for some teams, and for us, we're obviously on his short list and have that opportunity," Tavares told ESPN.com reporter Joe McDonald. "I really believe in our team and I'm sure they want to show him why we're the best fit for him and how he can impact our team and make us better, so we'll see what happens and if we're lucky enough we'll be able to get an impact player like him."
Video: Jimmy Vesey sweepstakes continues
Vesey met with the Islanders, Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Toronto Maple Leafs the past two days and will discuss his options Thursday, ESPN.com reported.
Vesey, 23, was a third-round pick (No. 66) of the Nashville Predators at the 2012 NHL Draft. The Predators hoped Vesey, who won the 2016 Hobey Baker Award as the best player in NCAA hockey, would sign with them after completing his senior season at Harvard in March and offered him a spot among their top six forwards heading into the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Nashville traded Vesey to the Buffalo Sabres for a 2016 third-round pick June 20. Vesey became an unrestricted free agent at 12:01 a.m. ET on Tuesday.
Vesey (6-foot-2, 201 pounds) had 46 points (24 goals, 22 assists) in 33 games last season, and 144 points (80 goals, 64 assists) in 128 games during his four-season Harvard career.