Rangers rookie Jimmy Vesey has nine points through his first 10 games. USATSI

He was the most talked about player in the entire NHL back in August. For a guy who had never stepped foot in the league, it was more attention than most fans probably thought he was worth, but Jimmy Vesey has been delivering in the early goings of his rookie season.

After deciding not sign with the Nashville Predators at the end of his senior season at Harvard University, despite them being the team that drafted him in 2012 and their offering an immediate NHL roster spot. His desire was to go to free agency, but he had to wait until Aug. 15 to do it due to CBA regulations regarding previously drafted players.

Winning the Hobey Baker Award as college hockey's best player as a senior, culminating a four-year career at Harvard that saw him put up strong numbers, particularly over his last two years, made Vesey a hot commodity.

After the contentious spring between Vesey and the Predators, the Buffalo Sabres came in with an offer to acquire Vesey's rights in an effort to beat the rush to sign the highly-coveted college standout. Despite their best efforts, they couldn't lock him down to a contract.

That touched off a recruiting battle among several of the NHL's top franchises. According to reports, the Chicago Blackhawks, Pittsburgh Penguins, Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Islanders and Sabres all met with Vesey, but it was the New York Rangers that had the most effective pitch. They also had a lot of help from celebrity recruiters like Susan Sarandon, Justin Tuck, Noah Syndergaard and Liam Neeson.

It seemed excessive, but it worked.

Vesey signed a two-year deal with the Rangers and immediately put a lot of pressure on himself. The Rangers had acquired multiple forwards over the offseason, including Michael Grabner, Mika Zibanejad, Brandon Pirri and expected homegrown prospects like Pavel Buchnevich to push for NHL roster spots. That was on top of the roster they already had, which seemed particularly solid down the wings.

However, Vesey earned a spot on the NHL roster after showing very well in both rookie camp and training camp. Now he's lighting it up in the early goings of his first season with the Rangers.

Over his first 10 games, Vesey has scored six goals and added three assists. His nine points put him second on the team and third among all rookies. The 23-year-old rookie has already worked his way onto the Rangers' top line playing alongside Derek Stepan and Rick Nash and he's holding his own.

Any concerns about his being buried by the forward depth on the roster have been alleviated and now he's a major contributor to a team that is off to a very good start.

Vesey notched three points in Tuesday night's blowout win over the St. Louis Blues as the Rangers improved to 7-3-0. They're the top team in the Metropolitan and third overall in the league. This is a team that many saw taking a step back this year, but they've scored 40 goals and only allowed 22. It's not likely that they'll keep up their scoring pace, but there is a lot to like about what they've shown so far.

A lot of it has to do with how they've structured their lines. Alain Vigneault has been utilizing a more streamlined forward lineup that is working so far. The team doesn't have a traditional grinding line, but have plenty of skill and speed throughout the lineup. They also managed to get a little younger up front, too.

The Rangers top four scoring forwards are 25 or younger, with J.T. Miller leading the way with 10 points. Vesey, Chris Kreider and Zibanejad right behind him with nine.

Rangers fans are going to have to prepare for a dip in production at some point. It may not be severe, but the team boasts a collective shooting percentage of 12.7 percent, which is tops in the league. Vesey himself is shooting at a cartoonish 33.3 percent. Though the numbers will more than likely regress at some point for both the team and their top rookie, it will be interesting to see how the rest of Vesey's season goes.

While it would be foolish to project Vesey will score like this over the course of the season based on what he's done over 10 games, it is at least interesting to note that he is off to one of the better starts we've seen out of a player going direct from college hockey to the NHL.

For instance, each of the last three Hobey Baker Award winners have reached the NHL. Both Johnny Gaudreau, who won college hockey's top individual honor in 2014, and Jack Eichel who beat out Vesey in 2015, got off to relatively slow starts. Each scored in their first NHL game, but both Eichel and Gaudreau went through an adjustment period. Eichel had just three points through his first 10 NHL games, while Gaudreau registered four. "Johnny Hockey" even ended up as a healthy scratch early on for the Calgary Flames.

It should be noted that Vesey is more than three years older than Eichel was as a rookie and two years older than Gaudreau was for his first season. However, looking at some of the other players that went the same route as Vesey did and were a little closer in age as rookies show that he's still off to an unprecedented start.

The most high profile players to eschew contracts with their drafting team to become free agents out of college are Kevin Hayes, Blake Wheeler and Justin Schultz. Both Hayes and Wheeler, who were 22 years old as rookies, had two points through their first 10 NHL games. Schultz, who joined the Oilers after half a season in the AHL due to the NHL lockout, had six points through his first 10 games from the blue line.

Making the jump from college right to the NHL often requires an adjustment period. However, it's been seamless for Vesey.

According to, Vesey's nine points through 10 games is the best start for a rookie forward making the jump directly from the NCAA to the NHL since Paul Stastny in 2006-07.

Hot starts can certainly be deceiving and when a player has no prior NHL track record, it's difficult to know what will happen when he might end up in a slump. So you should always exercise caution in reading too much into early returns. Besides, expecting him to maintain this kind of scoring pace wouldn't be fair. It's not impossible, but unlikely.

That said, Vesey has looked really strong to start, beyond the numbers. This is especially good news for a Rangers team that is getting by on its forward depth early on. Even if Vesey and his younger counterparts don't score at the rate they are now, the Rangers are in much better position to prevent a backslide from their recent successful seasons.