New York Ranger fans have been disgruntled — and rightfully so — with general manager Glen Sather.
Nearly all of his personnel moves over the course of his tenure in New York have been criticized from critics and fans alike.
The one area where he hasn't failed- for the most part— has been in drafts. Here's my ranking of Ranger first-round picks in the 2000s.
It is a no-brainer to select New York-native Hugh Jessiman as the worst first-round pick of the last decade by the Rangers, who chose him with the 12th pick in the 2003 NHL draft.
2003 is considered by many to be the best draft class in history, with players like Eric Staal, Jeff Carter, Zach Parise and Mike Richards all going in the first-round, with only one first-rounder never having played an NHL game.
Unfortunately for the Rangers, Jessiman is that player.
It appears that he will be a career AHLer, having spent four seasons with the Rangers AHL affiliate Hartford Wolfpack, before being dealt in Oct. 2008 to Nashville for future considerations.
This is the first of two first-round picks by the Rangers to end in tragedy.
When the Rangers drafted him 10th overall in 2001, they envisioned him taking over for aging and injury-prone franchise goalie Mike Richter.
Blackburn broke through in 2001-02 as the backup goaltender, before taking over as starter when Richter was sidelined due to injuries. He made the 2002 All-Rookie Team
Blackburn last only two seasons on Broadway, winning just 20 of his 63 NHL games, albeit on very mediocre Ranger teams.
In 2003, he injured his shoulder while lifting weights, which eventually forced him to retire in 2005.
This is the second pick that ended in tragedy.
Many felt the Rangers stole Alexei Cherepanov at 17 in 2007.
The 17-year-old, Russian right winger, was destined to be the next big thing for the Rangers, being a lock as a top-six forward in the future.
Unfortunately, his life was cut short after he collapsed on the bench during a KHL game while playing for Omsk Avangard on October 13, 2008, at just 19-years-old.
Al Montoya was just picked at the wrong time. It was unknown at the time that Henrik Lundqvist would turn into the superstar that he is today, so the Rangers were in need of a franchise goaltender.
Unfortunately, Lundqvist panned out, and Montoya was lost in the shuffle, and never once suited up for the Rangers, and spent nearly three seasons playing for the Hartford Wolfpack of the AHL.
Montoya, along with Marcel Hossa, was dealt to the Phoenix Coyotes in February 2008 in exchange for Fredrik Sjostrom, David LeNeveu and Josh Gratton.
He has since appeared in only five games with the Coyotes, and has a record of 3-1.
If anyone ever seemed to be a sure thing with the Rangers, it was Bobby Sanguinetti in 2006.
The big defenseman grew up in New Jersey as a Ranger fan, idolizing Brian Leetch. What could go wrong?
Although the verdict is still out on Sanguienetti, things aren't looking great. He has only appeared in five games for the Rangers, and hasn't registered a point. He is becoming more and more irrelevant in a Rangers' system that is stocked with top defensive prospects.
His name has also creeped into trade talks for this Friday's NHL draft, so Sanguinetti's tenure with the team he grew up watching may max out at just five games.
Chris Kreider seems to be a natural-born winner, and boy do the Rangers and their fans need that.
Kreider collected a lot of hardware and accolades this past year. He scored a goal in the NCAA championship game for Boston College in their victory over the University of Wisconsin.
He also scored six goals in just seven games at the 2010 World Junior Championships while playing for Team USA.
The Rangers are starved at the center position, making a position in Hartford- or even the big club- his for the taking.
Although still a year or two away from dawning a Ranger jersey for real, the potential Kreider has is through the roof, and the Ranger organization can't wait for that day to come.
Finally, a player who has already made a (positive) name for himself for the New York Rangers.
At just 19-years-old, Michael Del Zotto opened eyes and turned heads on the blueline last season as a rookie for the Rangers, who chose him with the 19th overall pick in 2008.
He made history for the Rangers early on, becoming the youngest defenseman to play for the team on opening night, and was voted NHL Rookie of the Month for October, where he registered 12 points in his first 14 NHL games.
He finished the season with 37 points (9g, 28 a) in 80 games, an impressive total for a defenseman on a poor offensive team.
Del Zotto is a lock for the blueline for years to come for the Rangers, and at just 20-years-old, has plenty of time to grow.
The Rangers took their time with defenseman Marc Staal, allowing him to develop first in the OHL, and then in the AHL with the Hartford Wolfpack.
Like the saying goes, good things come to those who wait.
Although he doesn't put up great offensive numbers, Staal, taken with the 12th overall pick in 2005, has blossomed into one of the best shutdown defenseman in the NHL, often playing against opposing teams' top lines.
Ranger fans have welcomed him with open arms, and have come to appreciate his physical, defensive style of play not often seen on Broadway.
Besides, any Ranger who scores their first NHL goal against New Jersey Devils' goalie Martin Brodeur will always be a fan favorite.
The best part about Staal is that he is only 23, and, like Del Zotto, will be mainstays on the Ranger blue line for years to come, and will sure to be a future captain.