Former Rangers top draft choice Hugh Jessiman has signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Blackhawks, according to a tweet by CapGeek. According to his CapGeek page, Jessiman’s AHL salary will be $105,000 and his NHL salary would be $500,000.
Jessiman, taken 12th overall by the Rangers in 2003, is the only first-round pick from that year’s draft who has never appeared in the NHL. He has spent most of the past two seasons with the Nashville’s AHL team, the Milwaukee Admirals, where he has scored 69 points in 141 games.
…Just another chapter in the long, sad story of another awful Rangers draft pick. The Rangers actually had him rated as the #4 player in that draft, which is crazy. The most tragic part about it is that that draft was absolutely chock full of guys who have gone on to either very solid NHL careers or stardom. Zach Parise, Ryan Getzlaf, Mike Richards, Corey Perry, Dustin Brown, Brent Burns, Ryan Kesler, Brent Seabrook — all taken after Jessiman. Not that I’m bitter.
If you look through the NHL drafts of the early part of this past decade, it’s absolutely stunning how bad the Rangers’ early picks turned out.
Anyway, best of luck to Hugh as he moves on to his third organization. He’s only 26; maybe he’ll still figure things out and make it to the show at least in a third- or fourth-line role.