Always a man of my word, I have more in “today’s paper about Hugh Jessiman”:http://www.thejournalnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060919/SPORTS01/609190366/1046/SPORTS, the former first round draft pick who is still looking to establish himself as a pro.
Hartford Wolf Pack
As it happens, I watched Hugh a good amount in high school, since he played for Brunswick in neighboring Greenwich, and his former coach there, Mark Finnegan, is actually a friend of mine (incidentally, Finnegan was MY coach in pee-wees and then in high school. And you think Jessiman is frustrating to coach…). Back then, Jessiman obviously stood out from the competition, both because of his size and because of his hands around the net. When he was headed for Dartmouth, it was assumed he would succeed at the Division I level, but like a lot of people, I was fairly surprised when the Rangers picked him 12th overall in the 2003 draft.
As Brendan Shanahan said, there’s no question that Jessiman has “the tools” to play at the NHL level. Making use of those tools is a whole other thing. From what I saw of him the first few days of camp, Jessiman looked adrift on the ice. But on Sunday, he began to throw his body around, and yesterday in the Blue and White scrimmage, he had the two goals. Whether that will be enough to thrust him into contention for an NHL job is doubtful. But maybe it was enough to at least start gather some momentum.
“This is it,” he said on Monday. “There’s only a couple of spots, and judging by last year, maybe I don’t have that spot. But at the same time, I’m trying to go in every day and open the window a little bit for myself.”