What If The Rangers Didn’t Draft Jessiman?

November 21, 2011, by

Eight years ago, the Rangers selected Hugh Jessiman with the 12th overall pick in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. The Rangers drafted him over such notables as Dustin Brown, Zach Parise, Brent Seabrook, Ryan Getzlaf, Ryan Kesler, Mike Richards, and Corey Perry. Everyone knows how that turned out, and fans are still complaining about it eight years later. It’s about time to look at what would have happened to the Rangers had they selected someone else in the draft.

Simply put, the Rangers have the roster they have today because of decisions made up to ten years prior. Drafting differently or signing someone else has an impact on the total points in the standings, and it is very evident with the 2003 draft that the Rangers would have been more successful if they had not selected Jessiman.

However, a better Rangers team means that their draft history is altered. The Rangers finished at a certain position in the standings each year, and that would have been effected by the addition of a player from the 2003 draft, either positively or negatively.

For the sake of this post, let’s have everything else remain constant. This means that players drafted in position x, free agent signings, etc all remain constant, while the variable here is the addition of a specific player from the 2003 draft. Let’s also keep everything in the first round, so players drafted in the second round (Shea Weber, David Backes, Patrice Bergeron, Loui Eriksson, Jimmy Howard) are exempt from this. The reason why these other areas remain constant is to isolate the variable, in this case the Rangers altered points total based on a different selection in the draft.

Also, for the sake of this post, we are only looking at first round picks, but this order definitely would affect the later rounds as well. We are also omitting the 2005 draft, as that was done by lottery. If you want to see how this would have effected the later rounds, apply the difference in standings to the later rounds. For example, if the difference is moving up 3 spots in the standings (down 3 in the draft), it would apply to the later rounds as well.

To read the table below (after the jump):
Player – Player selected after Hugh Jessiman
Year/PVT – Yearly PVT for that season (more on PVT here), leveraged from BTN GVT numbers
Diff in Standings – Seeding difference in the overall standings for that season (rounded down from PVT)
NYR Selection – Player drafted by NYR following that season
Altered Selection – Player selected in the slot that the Rangers would have wound up in when considering the point difference

Player Year PVT Diff In Standings NYR Draft Selection New Selection
Brown 05-06 0.77 None (10th) Bobby Sanguinetti Sanguinetti
Brown 06-07 1.97 From 15th to 14th Alexei Cherepanov Ian Cole
Brown 07-08 4.47 From 9th to 6th Michael Del Zotto Tyler Cuma
Brown 08-09 2.37 None (12th) Chris Kreider Kreider
Brown 09-10** 2.93 From 21st to 15th Dylan McIlrath Derek Forbort
Seabrook 05-06 2.20 From 10th to 8th Bobby Sanguinetti Semyon Varlamov*
Seabrook 06-07 1.63 None (15th) Alexei Cherepanov Cherepanov
Seabrook 07-08 3.40 From 9th to 6th Michael Del Zotto Tyler Cuma
Seabrook 08-09 3.10 From 12th to 11th Chris Kreider Jacob Josefson
Seabrook 09-10** 3.73 From 21st to 15th Dylan McIlrath Derek Forbort
Parise 05-06 1.47 None (10th) Bobby Sanguinetti Sanguinetti
Parise 06-07 4.40 From 15th to 12th Alexei Cherepanov Angelo Esposito
Parise 07-08 4.87 From 9th to 6th Michael Del Zotto Tyler Cuma
Parise 08-09 7.83 From 12th to 7th Chris Kreider Marcus Johansson
Parise 09-10** 7.27 From 21st to 14th Dylan McIlrath Vladimir Tarasenko
Burns 05-06 1.37 None (10th) Bobby Sanguinetti Sanguinetti
Burns 06-07 3.00 From 15th to 13th Alexei Cherepanov Logan MacMillan
Burns 07-08 4.60 From 9th to 6th Michael Del Zotto Tyler Cuma
Burns 08-09 1.70 None (12th) Chris Kreider Kreider
Burns 09-10** 1.13 None (21st) Dylan McIlrath McIlrath
Kesler 05-06 0.70 None (10th) Bobby Sanguinetti Sanguinetti
Kesler 06-07 0.93 None (15th) Alexei Cherepanov Cherepanov
Kesler 07-08 1.63 From 9th to 8th Michael Del Zotto Anton Gustafsson
Kesler 08-09 3.60 From 12th to 11th Chris Kreider Marcus Johansson
Kesler 09-10** 5.27 From 21st to 14th Dylan McIlrath Vladimir Tarasenko
Richards 05-06 1.67 None (10th) Bobby Sanguinetti Sanguinetti
Richards 06-07 0.60 None (15th) Alexei Cherepanov Cherepanov
Richards 07-08 5.53 From 9th to 6th Michael Del Zotto Tyler Cuma
Richards 08-09 5.97 From 12th to 7th Chris Kreider Marcus Johansson
Richards 09-10** 3.87 From 21st to 15th Dylan McIlrath Derek Forbort
Perry 05-06 1.07 None (10th) Bobby Sanguinetti Sanguinetti
Perry 06-07 2.37 From 15th to 13th Alexei Cherepanov Logan MacMillan
Perry 07-08 4.13 From 9th to 6th Michael Del Zotto Tyler Cuma
Perry 08-09 5.13 From 12th to 7th Chris Kreider Marcus Johansson
Perry 09-10** 4.47 From 21st to 15th Dylan McIlrath Derek Forbort
Getzlaf 05-06 1.80 None (10th) Bobby Sanguinetti Sanguinetti
Getzlaf 06-07 4.10 From 15th to 13th Alexei Cherepanov Logan MacMillan
Getzlaf 07-08 4.67 From 9th to 6th Michael Del Zotto Tyler Cuma
Getzlaf 08-09 5.70 From 12th to 8th Chris Kreider Jordan Caron
Getzlaf 09-10** 4.73 From 21st to 15th Dylan McIlrath Derek Forbort

*-The Rangers would not have selected Semyon Varlamov in this spot, as they already had Henrik Lundqvist and Al Montoya. The pick after Varlamov was Dennis Persson.
**-The Rangers missed the playoffs in 2009-2010. Any adjustment puts them in the playoffs, and moves them up significantly in the standings, as the 14 teams that miss the playoffs are given the top 14 spots in the draft.

Reading this table, the Rangers are overly unaffected in the 2006 draft, so they likely would still have wound up with Sanguinetti (and later on Jesper Fasth and Tim Erixon). The 2007 draft is a little interesting, if only for the fact that Angelo Esposito was a key factor in the Marian Hossa trade, and it would have been interesting to see if the Penguins would still have traded for him.

But in the “be careful what you wish for” mold, the Rangers 2008, 2009, and 2010 drafts would look completely different, and look to be busts at first glance, had they followed in this draft pattern. I have never really heard of Tyler Cuma or Logan MacMillan.

For all intents and purposes, a Kreider/Marcus Johansson swap or a McIlrath/Forbort swap are washes, same with the Kreider/Jacob Josefon swap. That McIlrath/Tarasenko swap is a bit interesting, Tarasenko was high on my personal draft board for the 2010 draft.

Now the Rangers have not had much success in the first round, but it’s also the later rounds that would have been affected. The 2004 and 2005 drafts (Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Callahan, Marc Staal, Mike Sauer) would have been unaffected, but the later drafts (in particular Artem Anisimov and Derek Stepan) might not have gone that way.

Sure, there are a lot of “what-ifs” here, but keeping everything constant, the Rangers could have looked significantly different had they not drafted Jessiman. But in the spirit of argument, it was fun to research all this and see what could have been. In my opinion, it’s been eight years, it’s time for everyone to move on. The Rangers are who they are today because of decisions made up to ten years ago. Let’s just enjoy the ride and see where it goes.

Categories : Analysis


  1. Matt J says:

    I woulda loved to have a zach parise on our team. Not to mention a mike Richards, ryan kesler, or Dustin brown who fit the mold for a John tortorella team perfectly. I’m still bitter over this draft and for good reason because it seems everyone in this draft has become NHL mainstays. How Brian boyle ended up in this draft in the first round is a little baffling though.

  2. Walt says:

    Say what you may, I’d be thrilled to have any of the players mentioned, along with Seabrook out of Chicago, than the trash we got.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but not too long after that draft we got Gordy to join the Ranger team, run the scouting program, and do a great job. It probably was due to imbarrasement, that Sather went after Gordy, because what they were going for in the drafts, at that time was sick!!!!!

    • Dave says:

      You do know that Slats is not the only person that makes decisions in the draft, right? He has an entire scouting department that is in his ear, and the coaching staff (in 2003 that would be Tom Renney) telling him their thoughts.

      It’s not all on Slats, but he gets the blame because of the job title (with good reason).

  3. Dave says:

    The point of this post is to just have people think about what could have happened in the draft if they finished higher. Players like Stepan, Anisimov, and others may have been off the table.

    Moral of the story: it was 8 years ago, and I really wish people would get over it.

    • Walt says:

      We need to gripe don’t we? Slats makes the perfect target after all he stated , while the GM of the Oilers, that if he had the money the Rangers had, he’d would win the cup. What happened? But you’re right, no need to cry over spilled milk.

      • The Suit says:

        The Lundqvist pick absolves the Jessiman pick in my eyes, but yes, everyone needs to move on already. Good post.

    • bob says:

      My opinion as to why it sticks out in my mind is because there were alot of high quality players that we could have picked.There was an unusual amount of players who went on to have successful careers.Another reason is on another site,leading to the draft they posted something like “Hoping we don’t get Jeismanned again”.So we have been reminded recently.I know that the article is more about getting over it.I think most people are but they use it as an example or a joke.To me,in this “cap world” drafting has become very important.Gordie does not seem to be lured by impressive stats.He seems to be able to project what a player could be a few years now.I was even shocked like hell when he took McIlrath but after you investigate it a little,it looks like a good pick.Time will tell but it looks like his picks are pretty damn good.

  4. Rickyrants13 says:

    What ifs can go on and on and on. What if Jessiman panned out??? What if Blackburn didnt get injured? What if Prucha was able to stay a force? Or Dawes for that matter.

    What if Cherepanov didnt pass away. Im sure you get my point here. But what Im really trying to say is that drafting doesnt make or break your team over one year. It makes or breaks your team over many years.

  5. bob says:

    But isn’t the bottom line,the better you draft the better your team should be.Especially in a cap world,the quality of drafting seems very important.Gordie seems to be staying with North American and Canadian prospects.Is it because he feels they are taught and trained to play the NHL game.Wheras some of the overseas guys just can’t perform in the NHL.I like Gordie’s picks.Obviously it will be a few years before we can realize what he actually has done for us.Boston seems to have a well rounded team.

  6. Walt says:

    One last post on this subject, but look at Filthadelphia, they draft Carter, Richards, Giroux, Van Reemsdyke, just to name a few. How is it that some organizations do well, as Philly, while teams like the Blue jackets can’t do squat in the draft. Our history has been poor to say the least. I konw we got some late draft picks that worked out well, but I think that is more luck than skill. I won’t kick a dead horse, enough said!!!!!

    • Rickyrants13 says:

      Sometimes its not allways what you take in the draft. Sometimes its what you do with them after you take them. Some teams are so bad that they are just not a goodplace to learn and develope. Some of our own guys are going through that right now with all of the changes in NY and ups and downs. It has’nt allways been a good place to learn.
      Just think how good our young D would be if they had someone to learn from as they were growing???

  7. csfarrell says:

    So this is a bit unrelated but reading this post brought on this thought. I have been pretty frustrated with Sather the past many years untill this summer that is. This year has been very different for Slats and I think he’s doing a great job. I still don’t think Torts is the right coach for this team and will most likely coach us out of the playoffs again but what ever.

    The “what if” I’m contemplating is given that this year seems so different as far as decision making by slats does anyone else think that maybe some of these decisions are coming from maybe someone he has been grooming to take his place? Like maybe Mark Messier I know it seems a little out there, just got me thinking.

    What do you guys think?

    • The Suit says:

      I talked about this a bit this past summer, but I think Sather has been making some good decisions for several years now (minus the occasional free agent spending on goons).

      In my opinion his overall track record starts to turn around when he hired Gordie Clark. Since then I have liked his trades, the organization’s draft picks, the majority of their free agent signings, and the moves to correct his mistakes (Drury buyout, Redden demotion, etc.)

      Messier is still in an advisory role, much like Schoenie, Gordie, etc. But ultimately Sather makes the calls.

      It’s an interesting question, but at the end of the day if people are going to kill him for his head scratchers, than they have to throw him a bone when the guy does something right.

      • bob says:

        I couldn’t agree with you more .Sather has been much better of late.I really think that maybe Gordie Clark has something to do with it.Yeah,Jeismann was a long time ago but that is like one of Sathers lowlights of his GM career.But I feel the quality of the picks since Clarke took over seems better than the previous years.Time will tell.Sather is lucky to still have his job.But he has changed so I hope he can do the right thing now.

  8. Walt says:

    Heres your bone Slats!