As I’m sure you all know I am ridiculously excited for the future of this team due to the outstanding job the Rangers have been doing stock piling talent in the draft. But it wasn’t always like that as Jess Rubenstein of The Prospect Park points out to me in this e-mail that as recent as 2004 the Rangers organization was completely bare…
When I first started doing this in 2004 I could count on my hand how many prospects were seen as legit NHLers. Honestly of all the prospects at that time I only saw Ivan Baranka as a legit NHL prospect but that guy could not pass gas without getting hurt.
The 2004 draft had the makings of another really bad one as Al Montoya was a bad pick (grossly over rated and when he left Michigan early was told in public by his coach he was making a big mistake) and Korpikoski seen as a reach. The NYR had 4 second rounders in which Dubinsky was the last one but at the time most people (myself included) thought he was too poor a skater to make it. Dubinsky when I first saw him looked like he needed training wheels for his skates.
The 3rd round the Rangers took a guy who actually made more money as a model (I kid you not as he married the hottest Czech Model at the time) than he did as a hockey player and then another Billy Ryan who suffered a bad hip injury and never regained his form.
The 4th round was Ryan Callahan and I still talk to his former coach as he likes to remind me how he told me that the then toothpick baby-faced Callahan was going to make the NHL. I thought Callahan would never live to make the NHL if he kept fighting everyone who asked.
The 5th round was a kid named Roman Psurny who had all the talent to make it but got so homesick that Medicine Hat traded for his twin brother. Psurny is the best case of a guy who had the all the tools except the heart.
Jordan Foote was their 6th round pick but he had hands of stone as he could not score to save his life.
The 8th round pick was a kid named Paiement who if you spotted him 50 points on an IQ test would still not make it out of the single digits. Cost his team a playoff spot when he left the bench to pick a fight.
The last pick was a kid who could score at will but had too many people whispering in his ear that he was going to be a star named Petruzalek.
It is funny how so many people can not let go of the Jessiman pick but really the truth is that if the Rangers had not taken him when they did then the Kings who had the next pick were going to. Jessiman was the kid who’s stock was rising like a bullet at the time of the draft. I being Pro WHL wanted Ryan Getzlaf as I had watched him take out just about everyone in his path. Yet Getzlaf fell all the way to 19th.
If anything the Rangers have made worse picks than Jessiman but few people seem to notice it because until this year Jessiman had not played in the NHL.