Vesey played for the Kings under head coach Scott Harlow in the 2011-12 season after three seasons at Belmont Hill Academy. He thrived under Harlow’s coaching and was selected with the 66th overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
After going undrafted in his first year of eligibility, Vesey decided to leave Belmont Hill for a chance to put himself on the map, and after careful consideration, he made his way to the Kings. He would eventually go straight from the Kings to the Ivy League, suiting up for Harvard University.
“A lot of guys think, ‘I have to play in the USHL,’ but I chose the Kings because I picked a coach who I knew I would play for and play a lot for. Staying close to home was also great,” said Vesey. “Coach [Scott] Harlow, Coach [Anthony] Esdale, and Coach [Brian] McDonough did a lot for me and I owe a lot of my success to them. That was one of the best years of hockey in my life as far as development, and a real turning point for me."
“For a guy looking to play junior hockey, I think at the end of the day, you want to go somewhere where you will play a lot. I knew I would with the Kings and that definitely helped me develop.”
The award is one of the many honors Vesey has won in his collegiate career. In addition to serving as captain of the Harvard University Crimson, he won both the Walter Brown Award, presented to the top American-born college hockey player in New England, and the ECAC Hockey Player of the Year Award in 2015 and 2016. As a junior, he was named an NCAA All-American and was a “Hat Trick” finalist for the Hobey Baker award.
Vesey also won a bronze medal as part of Team USA in the 2015 IIHF World Championships in the Czech Republic and took home a gold medal with Team USA in the 2013 IIHF World Under-20 Championships in Ufa, Russia.
“It was a huge honor to be considered for the World Junior team,” he noted. “[Fellow South Shore Kings alum] Charlie Coyle paved the way for me to go to the Kings to World Juniors. It was great to represent my country and we came away with a gold medal, something that only three US teams had done.”
Vesey is the second alum of a USPHL member club to win the Hobey Baker Award in as many years, following Junior Bruins alum Jack Eichel last season. Former South Shore King Matt Gilroy won the award in 2009.
Two other major college hockey awards were also presented to USPHL alumni. Matt Vidal (Bay State Breakers) was named the winner of the Derek Hines Unsung Hero Award, and Chris Dylewski (Tampa Bay Juniors) was presented with the Hockey Humanitarian Award, honoring college hockey’s finest citizen.
Although college hockey could only award its top three players with individual accolades on Friday, April 8 at the Frozen Four, college recruiters have acknowledged the USPHL in a big way over the past few seasons.
In just the past two seasons, college recruiters have committed over 500 USPHL players to their rosters.
Congratulations to Jimmy, his family, and the South Shore Kings.