Because of salary-cap restraints, Flyers general manager Ron Hextall didn't make a big splash in the offseason.

That could change Monday, though Hextall faces difficult odds as he tries to sign gifted Harvard left winger Jimmy Vesey.

Vesey, the Hobey Baker winner as collegiate hockey's top player last season, becomes an unrestricted free agent Monday, and he has many teams courting him.

If the Flyers are able to sign him, he could land a spot in their top six this season.

Since Buffalo has exclusive negotiating rights to Vesey prior to Monday, Hextall is not permitted to talk about him for fear of tampering charges. But it's no secret that he would be a perfect fit for the Flyers.

Vesey, 23, has played his entire hockey career - high school, juniors, college - in Massachusetts, so the Boston Bruins are favored to land him.

Buffalo acquired his rights from Nashville in June for a third-round pick. Vesey is friends with the Sabres' Jack Eichel, who has been trying to persuade him to sign with Buffalo. Along with the Flyers, Chicago, New Jersey, Toronto, and the New York Rangers are also believed to be among the many teams in the mix. Toronto is in the running because Vesey's father, Jim, is a scout with the Maple Leafs.

Vesey, drafted by Nashville in the third round of the 2012 draft, would receive $925,000 this season on an entry-level deal, plus bonuses.

The 6-foot-2, 201-pound Vesey, a native of North Reading, Mass., had 46 points (24 goals, 22 assists) in 32 games during his senior season at Harvard.

The Flyers, who got marginally better after signing lower-level free agents Dale Weise and Boyd Gordon last month, start rookie training camp Sept. 19 and veteran camp Sept. 23.

Their first exhibition game is Sept. 26 in New Jersey, and they open the regular season Oct. 14 in Los Angeles.

scarchidi@phillynews.com

@BroadStBull