On April 15 earlier this year, tragedy struck the city of Boston when two disgruntled young men set off bombs that killed three bystanders and injured 264 others near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Nashville Predators prospect Jim Vesey was an adjacent ten minutes away at Harvard University when the bombings occurred.
"I actually planned to go to the marathon, but I had class at 10 a.m., so I didn't end up going over to the marathon," Vesey said. "I had one class at ten, went home, took a nap and, then I woke up and then it was just craziness.
"We were on lockdown."
Since the Tsarnaev brothers were on the run for a hair raising four days, it scared the surrounding communities into shutting down everything.
Said Vesey, "We had practice — lifts — canceled and a lot of the dining halls [on campus] were closed as well. So, I had my dad come and pick me up from school and I went home for a couple of days."
If Vesey didn't have class that day, it is unknown whether or not he would have been at development camp, where he was evidently better than last year.
Last season with the Crimson, Vesey posted 18 points (11g, 7a) in 27 games.
"I had a good first year, can't complain," Vesey said. "There is a great group of guys, but we had some issues with some guys on the team [who were] suspended from school, so we had a tough year on the ice. But it was a great experience. I got to play a lot. I think I grew a lot as a hockey player and as a person."
Four sophomores were asked to take a year of absence to, most likely, a cheat scandal.
Next season, Vesey will become a sophomore and it could be the defining year of his career. There is a chance that he does get a crack at being on the Predators' roster heading into next season, but a lot of things will have to improve beforehand though, and he knows it.
"I think next year is going to be a huge year for me in terms of my development. I had a pretty solid freshman year. I'm trying to work on my explosiveness as a skater. I think that is going to be the biggest jump that I face when I leave college and try to go pro. I'm trying to work on my first few steps getting going.
"I think that for the rest of the summer I'm going to use what I learned from this camp and work as hard as I can."
Vesey will likely be a part of the Preds' preseason squad traveling to Sunrise, FL; Tampa Bay, FL; Washington, D.C.; and Long Island, NY.
(Photo by Justine Agaloos)