Nashville Predators Top Prospect Decides To Stay In School

Nashville Predators Top Prospect Decides To Stay In School&h=235&w=320&zc=1

Hockey is unique among professional sports for a number of reasons. Among these–the quality and character of the men who play the game. In most sports, a prospect would gladly quit college for even a chance to make the team. NHL players, however, realize that there is life after hockey and understand the importance of a good education. Case in point–Nashville Predators’ prospect Jimmy Vesey. Vesey is going to defer his NHL career to complete his college degree.

Vesey was selected by the Preds in the 2012 Entry Draft and could have made the jump to the NHL this spring. Instead, he’s decided to return to Harvard for his senior year to compete with the Crimson hockey team and complete his degree. He says it was a tough decision: “It was a really tough decision for me. I sat down with my family and we kind of weighed our options. At the end of the day, I just wanted to make sure I got that degree from Harvard because hockey is not going to last forever and that’s something good to fall back on. I’m going to wait one more year and finish my college season and hopefully sign after the year.”

Vesey is committed to joining the Predators after school and appreciates the way the team has dealt with his decision to prioritize academics: “They were awesome about it. I think I have a really good relationship with the organization. They were really understanding, since I go to Harvard, that the degree is so invaluable; they understood why I’d want to go back. They were great about it.”

The extra season at the collegiate level will also allow Vesey to put on some bulk that he’ll need in the NHL: “At the end of last year I could have joined the Preds for the playoff. That was something that I had thought about a lot. I think that I’m ready to turn pro, but there is still room for improvement for me and college is a good environment to do that in. We don’t play as many games, but we have a lot of time at practice and in the weight room so I can really focus on getting stronger and faster and rounding out my game.”

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