Published in the April 14, 2016 edition

HARVARD SENIOR JIM VESEY, from North Reading, accepts the Hobey Baker Memorial Award in a ceremony in Tampa last Friday. (Melissa Doherty Brennan Photo)

HARVARD SENIOR JIM VESEY, from North Reading, accepts the Hobey Baker Memorial Award in a ceremony in Tampa last Friday. (Melissa Doherty Brennan Photo)


NORTH READING — The second time was the charm for North Reading’s Jimmy Vesey, the Harvard hockey sensation who capped his senior year by being named recipient of the 2016 Hobey Baker Memorial Award in Tampa, Florida last Friday night.

Vesey, a 2012 graduate of North Reading High School and the son of Jim and Ann Vesey, was nominated for the award a year ago, only to see it go to BU freshman Jack Eichel. But Friday night in Tampa, Vesey followed in the footsteps of his father Jim Sr., who was honored by the Hobey Committee in 1988 when he received the Division II–III East Hobey Baker Award for his play as a forward for Merrimack College from 1984 to 1988.

Jimmy finished off his 2015–2016 Harvard campaign with 24 goals and 46 points in 33 games and will finish his college career with 80 goals and 144 points, making him one of the best players in Harvard’s history.

And that’s saying a lot. Young Vesey is the fourth Hobey honoree for the Crimson, joining Mark Fusco, (1983), Scott Fusco, (1986), and Lane MacDonald (1989).

Vesey leaves Harvard as one of the most prolific scorers in the program’s history. He is one of just five Crimson players to score 80 goals in their career while his 144 points is tied for 12th all time for Harvard Men’s Ice Hockey.

The 6–foot–1 inch winger  and team co–captain was drafted by the Nashville Predators in the third round of the 2012 draft, but according to media reports he recently informed the Predators he intends to explore the NHL free agent market starting Aug. 15.

In accepting the award, Vesey was brief and humble, thanking his family, friends and teammates for all their support.

The Hobey Baker Award is college hockey’s most prestigious prize. There are four criteria against which nominees for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award are considered:

• Strength of character, on and off the ice.

• Contribution to the integrity of the team and outstanding skills in all phases of the game.

• Scholastic achievement and sportsmanship.

• Compliance with all NCAA rules, including being a full-time student in an accredited college or university and completing 50 percent or more of the season.

A complete student–athlete, Vesey was recognized as a Senior CLASS Award first team All American also on Friday. The Senior CLASS Award is presented each year to the outstanding senior NCAA Division I Student–Athlete of the Year across nine different sports.The acronym stands for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School and the award focuses on the total student–athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive difference in their communities.

Vesey will graduate in May with a degree in government and has been a willing participant in the many community service activities the Harvard men’s hockey team has undertaken in the last two years.