Three guys, aged 23, 24, and 25, playing great hockey for the New York Rangers and living together in an apartment in New York City. Sounds like a dream come true, right? Meet Kevin Hayes, Jimmy Vesey and Brady Skjei. They’re the guys that are living this fantasy right now. Besides having a ton of fun filming videos for the team and exploring New York City together, these players have great careers ahead of them and are already turning heads.
(Image via Danny Wild-USA Today Sports)
The oldest of the trio, 25-year-old Kevin Hayes is no stranger to bouncing back. In his rookie year (2014-2015), he notched a total of 45 points (17 goals and 28 assists) after being criticized for his size and skating abilities. His sophomore season was seen as a disappointment by many fans since he put up nine fewer points in the same amount of games (79). Speaking of those redemption skills from earlier, he proved his doubters wrong by scoring 49 points (17 goals and 32 assists) last season. This year, the Dorchester, Massachusetts native already has 12 points (six goals and six assists) in 29 games. This puts him on pace for about 33 points, which would be a career low, but there’s definitely a chance that he could pick it up before the season ends. He knows what it’s like to be the reason for fans’ complaints, and he’s familiar with spending games sitting in the press box. This gives him an extra drive for success, and it’s very easy to see. For now, Rangers fans should be thankful for his somewhat consistent point production, useful size, and infectious energy on the team.
(Image via SNY)
One of two “sophomores” in the group, Jimmy Vesey is quite the polarizing character at times. He was drafted by the Nashville Predators in the third round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, 66th overall. When it was clear that he wanted to become a free agent after college, the Predators traded his right to the Buffalo Sabres. The 24-year-old became a free agent not too long after, and the New York Rangers ended up signing him. In his rookie year, Vesey put up 27 points (16 goals and 11 assists) in 80 games and caught the attention of many Rangers fans. This year, he has ten points (six goals and four assists) so far, through 29 games. If he keeps up this speed, he will match his point total from last year and score about 28 points, avoiding a sophomore slump. Watching Vesey get to grow as a player has been a lot of fun for fans. The Big Apple has embraced the Boston, Massachusetts native, and his career can only go up from its exciting start.
(Image via NY Daily News)
As the lone defenseman of the batch, Brady Skjei sometimes doesn’t get the attention that he deserves. The 23-year-old was drafted in the first round in 2012, 28th overall. Last year was his rookie year, and he definitely turned some heads. Prior to making the NHL roster, Skjei played seven games for the New York Rangers in the 2015-2016 season. He made an impact and showed how comfortable he is with the puck, although he didn’t put up any points. Once he was a regular member of the team, he scored 39 points (five goals and 34 assists) in 80 games. He was often compared to Rangers legend Brian Leetch and even broke Leetch’s rookie defenseman points record. This year, he has the same amount of points as Vesey (10 points; two goals and eight assists) in the same amount of games. He shows a lot of maturity and calmness when playing the puck, and could be a real star for New York and in the NHL in the coming years.
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