The pre-deadline trading got off to a furious start yesterday, with the Francois Beauchemin trade to Anaheim for Joffrey Lupul and Jake Gardiner. A few other deals went down, and both involved former Ranger first round picks. First, the much maligned Hugh Jessiman (2003, 1st round) was traded with Jack Skille and David Pacan from Chicago to Florida for Michael Frolik and Alexander Salak. Next, Al Montoya was traded from Phoenix to the Islanders (HAH!) for a 6th round pick.
Both were former first round picks, and these trades show just how far they have fallen. Jessiman was traded by the Rangers for “future considerations”, which amounted to nothing. Now, he is a throw in for Frolik. Montoya was the famed 6th overall pick out of Michigan in 2004, and was essentially a throw in when the Rangers traded him to Phoenix (with Marcel Hossa) for Fredrik Sjostrom, Josh Gratton, and David LeNeveu. Now, the 6th overall pick is being dealt for a 6th round pick.
People are really going to get on Sather for those picks, and for good reason. Hindsight is always 20/20. But for what it’s worth, Montoya was a much needed draft pick in net, as the Rangers had no idea what Lundqvist was going to be, and wouldn’t know until all the NHL players decided to play in Sweden during the lockout. As for Jessiman, it was tough to argue with the pick at the time (maybe he was drafted a bit too high, but he was slotted to go in the 1st round), but wow, what an epic bust.