As a die hard Rangers fan, I've been disappointed with the team's efforts for years. However, the 2003 NHL Entry Draft stings the most.
With the 12th overall pick, the Rangers chose Hugh Jessiman from Darthmouth College. His attributes matched those of the type of players being drafted in that era: big and not afraid to play in front of the net.
Did Mr. Jessiman work out for the Rangers? No. In fact, he is currently the only first round pick from 2003 to not play in an NHL game.
Here are a few all stars chosen after Jessiman in the first round.
Drafted right after Jessiman, Dustin Brown has done nothing but impress.
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You see that 'C' on his chest? Brown is a natural born leader and while he does not score big time, he is overflowing with intangibles and can contribute quite often.
If the Rangers drafted Brown, some of their offensive and toughness problems would go down the drain.
The Rangers passing on Zach Parise still stings to this day. I love him as a player, but hate him as a rival. At a time when the Rangers need offense, Parise would have solved their problems nicely.
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If the Rangers drafted Parise, their scoring woes would be gone.
What do the Rangers need right now? A legitimate number one center. What did they pass on in 2003? Ryan Getzlaf who brings top flight scoring and an intimidating style of play to the ice.
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If the Rangers drafted Getzlaf, they would not have to rely on Erik Christensen to center their only superstar forward (Marian Gaborik).
Another bit of a stinger, Mike Richards was drafted by a rival as well. Like Brown, he does not score big time, but he does score quite a lot and is a natural born leader.
If the Rangers drafted Richards, they would have a legitimate center for Marian Gaborik.
The (Mighty) Ducks struck gold in this draft drafting two first line players. Both have been NHL All-Stars. Hugh Jessiman has not even touched NHL ice yet.
In Corey Perry, the Ducks have a unique player. He is a pest who could score, a lot. He is basically what Rangers fans would want out of Sean Avery.
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If the Rangers drafted Perry, fans would be cheering for his antics and scoring and there would most likely be no 'scoring problems.'