The Buffalo Sabres acquired the rights to unsigned draft pick Jimmy Vesey from the Nashville Predators on Monday for a third-round pick (No. 76) in the 2016 NHL Draft.
Vesey, a left wing, was selected by the Predators in third round (No. 66) of the 2012 draft but informed them March 28 that he would not sign with them. He can become an unrestricted free agent Aug. 15.
In 33 games at Harvard University this season, Vesey had 24 goals and 46 points and won the Hobey Baker Award as the top player in NCAA hockey. He was a finalist for the award in 2014-15 when he had 32 goals and 58 points in 37 games.
Video: Vesey's rights dealt to Buffalo
The Predators tried to sign Vesey after his college season ended in March, and general manager David Poile said Vesey had been promised a key role on a team competing for a Stanley Cup Playoff spot.
"To be clear on what our offer was to [Vesey], we offered him a position on our team playing on one of our top lines and playing right away," Poile said in March. "Obviously it was an opportunity for him to get experience this year and to play and compete for the Stanley Cup immediately."
The Sabres had 12 picks in the draft, including four in the third round. The selection going to the Predators originally belonged to the Minnesota Wild and previously had been traded to the Florida Panthers and Anaheim Ducks. The Sabres acquired it from the Ducks in the trade for Jamie McGinn on Feb. 29.
Buffalo still has six of the first 99 picks at the draft, including No. 8 in the first round. The draft will be held at First Niagara Center in Buffalo on Friday and Saturday.