Larry Brooks at the New York Post reports that the Rangers are among a small group of teams in the running for Union College’s Hobey Baker finalist Mike Vecchione.
Vecchione piled up 63 points (29g, 34a) in just 38 games this season, which helped lead to his Hobey Baker finalist nomination. The Massachusetts product is a two-time captain and the all-time leading scorer in Union history finishing his career with 71g, 105a in 149 games.
The Wild, Flyers, Bruins, Lightning and Red Wings are also reportedly pursuing the 5′ 10″, 185 lb forward.
According to Brooks, the 24-year old Vecchione has enough negotiating leverage that he should be able to sign with the Rangers for this season and thus burn the first year off his two-year entry-level contract. However, he wouldn’t be eligible to participate in the playoffs.
Knowing nothing of Vecchione, I’ll just assume since he’s from Massachusetts that his favorite beer is Sam Adams, he loves the SAWKS and he watches Good Will Hunting on loop.
Here’s some video of Vecchione tearing it up…
And here’s a recent interview…
Since the Rangers summoned Stepan, McD and Skjei to close Minnesota product Vinni Lettieri, I wonder if they did the same with Kreider, Hayes and Vesey for Vecchione.
Since what Gorton wants, Gorton usually gets when it comes to NCAA players, I’m going to assume it’s not a matter of if, but when Vecchione signs with the Rangers.
One thing I do caution with all the Rangers recent NCAA signings is not to expect them to be in the mold of Hayes and Vesey who were high round draft picks. These guys haven’t been drafted for a reason. If you remember, other highly regarded college free agent signings such as Ryan Haggerty, Mat Bodie and Jeff Malcolm haven’t exactly panned out in recent years.