Well, here you go. Today, the Rangers traded away former first round pick Hugh Jessiman to the Nashville Predators. What do the Rangers get in return, you ask? That would be the classic "future considerations", which can be anything from a crappy overpaid player to a bucket of hockey pucks to a nice meal the next time the Rangers go down to Nashville. Apparently, Jessiman struggled with a high ankle sprain for much of his career. Now, those of us who play fantasy football know that a high ankle sprain is one of those injuries that affects you for a long, long time. That said, Jessiman was drafted five years ago, and you can only blame injuries for so long.
There will be no stones thrown from this glass house. We all know Jessiman never played an NHL game, the only first-rounder chosen in 2003 with that distinction. Of course, that same year, the Islanders passed up the obvious choice of Zach Parise in favor of Robert Nilsson, he of the nineteen career goals. While the link above makes light of the Rangers' awful first-round draft record, the Islanders don't exactly have anything to brag about. Remember the 1999 draft, when the Islanders had four first-round picks? Taylor Pyatt, Tim Connolly, Branislav Mezei, and Mike Rupp barely combine to form one above-average player, let alone the four star players the Islanders thought they drafted. Let's not forget about Raffi Torres with the #5 pick in 2000, the Jason Spezza debacle in 2001, and of course, the selling off of 2004, 2006, and 2007 first-round picks for Ryan Smyth and two playoff home games. Hell, aside from Kyle Okposo, the best player the Islanders picked in the first round was Petteri Nokelainen in 2004, and he got dumped off to Boston for Ben Walter. Walter and Jeff Tambellini, point-a-game players in the AHL but horrendous players in the NHL, will combine to provide an extremely capable scoring line for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers for many years to come.
So, having said all that, let's just agree that neither of our teams can draft well in the first round and leave it at that. Okay? Okay.