Guest blogger: AnthonyM


(Editor’s note: I think this is the last of the guest blogs that I have received. Obviously we are going to be without hockey for a while, so if anybody else wants to volunteer to do a guest blog, this is a good time to do it. Just drop me an email at


On Feb. 27, 2011, Hugh Jessiman made his NHL debut with the Florida Panthers in a 2-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils.  Jessiman played one more NHL game before being reassigned to the Rochester Americans of the AHL.  Jessiman was the last 2003 first-round draft pick to make his NHL debut and is only one of two players to play less than 100 games (Shawn Belle, the 30th overall pick, played only 20 games).

While Jessiman’s NHL experience is only two games, he did remove his name from the list of former Rangers first round draft picks to never have played a game in the NHL.  Since 1969 when the NHL Draft took on its current look and emphasis, the Blueshirts have drafted six other players who never played in an NHL game. Of course, this total does not include recent picks Brady Skjei, J.T. Miller and Dylan McIlrath.

In the Rangers defense, they get a mulligan on two players because of tragic circumstances beyond their control.  Alexei Cherepanov, the Blueshirts’ first round pick in 2007, saw his life cut tragically short on Oct. 13, 2008 when he died during a KHL game.

In 1997, Stefan Cherneski suffered an eventual career-ending knee injury just 11 games into his pro career while with the Hartford Wolf Pack. Cherneski would attempt a comeback, but only played in 29 AHL games over the next two seasons before accepting an injury settlement.

In 1972, the Rangers draft right winger Al Blanchard with the 10th pick. While he did play 166 AHL games and 31 IHL games, he is the only player selected in that first round to never play in the NHL. George Ferguson (11th), Phil Russell (13th) and John Van Boxmeer (14th) would all go on to play more than 500 NHL games.

In 1990, defenseman Michael Stewart was drafted with the 13th overall pick.  Much like Jessiman and Blanchard, Stewart and Edmonton selection Scott Allison (17th) are the only 1990 first round draft picks to never have played in the NHL (although the Islanders Scott Scissons played only two regular season games and one playoff contest).  Keith Tkachuk was drafted 19th, Bryan Smolinski 21st, while some guy named Martin Brodeur was selected with the 20th pick.

Unlike Blanchard, Stewart did have an extensive pro hockey career that consisted of 255 AHL games, 263 IHL games, 60 games with the Canadian National Team in 1996-97, and he played 10 seasons in Europe (one in Germany and nine in Austria).

In 1996, the Rangers select another blueliner who would never play in the NHL when they drafted Jeff Brown with the 22nd pick.  Brown and Pittsburgh goaltender Craig Hillier (23rd) are the only two first-round picks to never play in the NHL.  However, three other picks played fewer than 10 games in the NHL: Washington’s Alexandre Volchkov (fourth) played three games while Tampa Bay’s Mario Larocque (16th) and Edmonton’s Mathieu Descoteaux (19th) play just five games each.  Daniel Briere was drafted 24th and defenseman Cory Sarich was the first pick of the second round (27th).


Brown racked up frequent flyer mileage in a pro career that saw him play 72 AHL games, 74 ECHL games, 260 UHL games, 13 games with the Canadian National Team in 1996-97 and 136 games in three years in Great Britain.

That leaves us with my all-time personal favorite as the worst first-round draft pick in New York Rangers history – Jim Malone.  The Blueshirts used the 14th overall pick in 1980 to draft Malone, who spent three pro seasons playing with three different teams in three different leagues (AHL-20 games, IHL-40 games and CHL-86 games). Brent Sutter was drafted 17th overall and Barry Pederson went one spot later.

Malone did suffer a knee injury in December, 1982 while playing with the Tulsa Oilers of the CHL, so one does have to wonder if that injury cost him a shot at the NHL.

While he did not play in the NHL, Jim Malone does have many family connections to the NHL.  Jim is the younger brother of Greg Malone (704 NHL games) and the uncle of Tampa Bay forward Ryan Malone. Jim’s son Brad made it to The Show, making his NHL debut during the 2011-12 season with the Colorado Avalanche.  The 105th pick of the 2007 Draft played nine games and recorded two assists.

Malone is the only first-round pick from the 1980 Draft to never play in the NHL while two other first rounders failed to break 100 games: Hartford’s Fred Arthur (eighth) played 80 games before retiring when he refused a demotion to the minors and Philadelphia’s Mike Stothers (21st) who played 30 games. Stothers did get to the NHL as an assistant coach with the Flyers (2001-02 and 2002-03) and Atlanta Thrashers (2010-11).

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  1. First! I was at that Panther’s game where Jessiman made his NHL debut. It was, without a doubt, the best game ever played by a rookie with a last name beginning with “J”, ending with “N” and with “essima” in the middle! That’s about the only thing that stuck out in that game. lol

  2. Interesting guest blog. Seems like a lot of research went into it (or you know a lot of random facts).

  3. Evrockriser – if you hadnt been a Ranger fan would you have even noticed that Huge Specimen was on the ice?

    Good article Anthonym

  4. Trigger – Sadly it is both. I did a lot of research and, as an old IPS teacher in High School would say, I am a warehouse of useless information :-)

  5. You won the first one on Monday, BANJ. Two tickets to tonight’s preseason game against the Devils in Albany!

    Good morning, Sally!

  6. Ive been excited about the replacement NFL referees. Theyve been incompetent (as opposed to biased) against all teams. Even incompetent against the patriots.

    Now the regular referees will be back and the patriots will never be called for pass interference or defensive holding, and the Giants/Jets will never get any of those calls in their favor. The bias is back.

    Id much rather have league-wide incompetence than bias

  7. except the bias is in your mind … the incompetence is very real.

    I can’t wait for the first blown call by the real refs when the first jackwagon says he misses the replacement refs.

  8. People will eventually say that. The problem with that complaint will be that these replacement refs dont even know the rules, and are completely incompetent. Every real referee will miss calls, bc its human nature. But the percentage of calls theyll miss will be much less than the repl refs.

  9. Good afternoon all! Congrats BANJ! I was thinking last night, this is going to be a long byfuglien winter without hockey, as if winter isn’t bad enough.

  10. Seriously? Oh those wacky French…

    C3, sadly, I think the chances are good. But hey, if we get any part of a season this year, maybe our Cup chances are good, too, since there will be less chance of fatigue, right?

  11. A simple equation is helping me live with the lack of NHL hockey.

    No hockey to watch and blog aboot = more golf to practice & play

  12. How come one of my comments still says “Your comment is awaiting moderation” at the top. Can everyone see my post at 8:21 am or can I only see it because of my browser cookies?
    I’ve already missed 2 Panther games: The 2nd annual Florida Panther/Nashville Predators double-header (9/24 – 2:30 and 7:30). BAH HUMBUG!

  13. I gather both NHL and NHLPA have very important enagements for tomorrow since they decided to schedule their next CBA negotiation meeting for Friday. I agree, what’s the rush?

  14. From what I understand, Carp, the full schedule, albeit compressed, could be still played if they start somewhere during the first week in December. Is that correct?

  15. ilb, I say with reasonable certainty, if the season starts in December, then the entire 82 game schedule will not be played.

    Something like what the NBA did last season would have to be done. The NBA went to a 66 game season last year, iirc.

    With the NHL, the primary reason there will not be a compressed 82 game schedule is that there would be more injuries. Second, arenas are unlikely to be free. During away trips, team arenas have other events scheduled, and in the case of teams like New York and Boston, both the NBA and NHL franchises share the same arena.

  16. Olga Folkyerself on

    They would have been better off firing all their scouts and just picking the best player available from the Central Scouting Report. Sather kept picking too many “projects” trying to hit a home run when a double would have been sufficient.


  17. Olga Folkyerself on

    I can’t wait until both the league and the players start losing money on this lockout. Hopefully, they will lose so much that they can’t ever recoup their losses. That would be my only satisfaction out of all this. The fan isn’t losing any money on this (non) deal. Unless they are really stupid and still spend money on hockey season tickets, jerseys and other stuff. The last time I spent any money on hockey was for a Black Hawks jersey when they won the Cup in 2010.

    Dolan hasn’t gotten a dime from me since Sather took over in 2000, (except for MSG as part of my cable package.) Even then, with the blackouts due to Sabres games, I find the internet feeds to be a lower quality substitute. I used to have to be content with listening to games on the radio over the years, so any video is better than nothing.

    Just keep it up NHL, and NHLPA. I can go longer without hockey than you can without money.

    FU all, and the horse you rode in on…

  18. I must’ve forgotten to put %$#^ in the place of the “s” word. My bad. How come I can still see that post Carp? Or did it go up without that word in it? I’m lost…. lol

  19. This whole sports labour thing needs to be looked at – not just the NHL, but NFL, NBA and MLB too. It should be illegal to prevent games from being played due to lack of agreement as it is not just the 2 parties that are involved and there has been plenty of time to reach one by now. If it wasnt for the hardline taken by both sides a compromise would have been reached by now.
    If Obama was handing out fines to Bettman and the NHL and Fehr and the NHLPA for cancelling games (and the NFL and Refs association for ruining games) you can bet there would have been a quicker agreement than this.

    They should also look at appointing a federal arbitrator if the sides cant come to an agreement by a certain cut-off date.

  20. There is not even a hint of NHL news on any of the major news networks. (negotiations or talks….) As usual I come here every morning to see what is going on in the NHL.

    Thanks for keeping it going Carp!

  21. Obama “handing out” NHL fines. lol to that. How about if Gov. Cuomo makes the Rangers, Islanders, and Sabres play continuous round robins against each other until May?

  22. If all the players were allowed to carry firearms on to the ice, in accordance with their Second Amendment rights, there would be fewer fistfights in the NHL.

  23. >>This whole sports labour thing needs to be looked at…It should be illegal to prevent games from
    >>being played…

    I’d be more interested in seeing teachers and transit workers be prevented from striking.

  24. Its really funny/ironic for me to be saying this, but many people on here are acting like no hockey season or an abbreviated season would be the end of the world. There are more important things in life than hockey, baseball, etc.

    Of course when there is a season, winning is the most important thing, lol.

  25. Not really, ilb! You know me well enough by now… I’d prefer for baseball, football and hockey to not exist, with the Yankees, Steelers, and Canadiens in possession of the most titles of their respective sports. And then if and when the Lakers overtake the Celtics for most NBA titles, for basketball to no longer exist.

    Then I can enjoy life.

  26. The ears ring with the bold music of an attack…
    Make an accurate pass, shoot hard!
    And everything is right, if on the ice is
    The Magnificent Five and a Goalkeeper!


    _The ice brotherhood combats hard
    And we trust in courage of desperate guys
    Real men play hockey,
    No coward plays hockey!_

    Let the place behind the rival’s net to be more frequently
    Illuminated by red lamp’s victorious flash!
    But if there’s a need, defends brilliantly
    The Magnificent Five and a Goalkeeper!


    Many beautiful games would be seen
    And we won’t forget, we’ll never forget as long ago
    Gold and cups have been won at ice battles by
    The Magnificent Five and a Goalkeeper!

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