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02-28-2006, 01:06 AM
Join Date: Sep 2005
I can see the "Jessiman is a bust" bandwagon is beginning to pick up some speed here so I will get on my box a little and stick up for my boy. First of all there are a lot of people who just want to be right no matter what they say about Jessiman, and I freely admit that I am one of them. As mentioned in an earlier post on this thread, I think it would be very special for a "Native", born in NYC guy to be wearing the sweater. Nick Fotiu wore it and made every Ranger fan very proud.
I know this will bore many, but lets just look at some numbers quickly.
Between college and the pros Jessiman has played a grand total of 130 games. That's 80 games at Dartmouth and 50 thus far in the pros. Also 12 of those 80 at Dartmouth were played directly coming off the injury. That is just 68 games in two years before the injury. Compare that with Nigel Dawes who played a total of 245 games with Kootenay before turning pro this year with the 'Pack. I am making no comparisons between these two players other than number of games played. They are as completely different as players and athletes as is possible.
The point I'm trying to make here is that many players like Dawes, have had a much better opportunity to develop their game before turning pro than has Jessiman. I know it sounds like I'm making excuses for this guy, but I just wanted to offer some perspective. An awful lot is being expected of Hugh, and in all fairness I want to point out what he's up against. I think given the very steep learning curve he's dealing with, he's actually doing okay. Not great, but still okay. He's a big guy and a big project. Will he fulfill expectations? Honestly, I give it very slim odds that he will. Ranger fans are a tough, uncompromising bunch, and not always fair in their judgement of certain players. All of you who thought Sather could have chosen better are probably right, but I'm glad they chose Jessiman. I really don't care if the guy does not measure up to lofty expectations. Mine are lower given his experience and development, but I am also very hopeful given the same. If the guy winds up being a kick butt 3rd or 4th liner, what is so bad about that? There is just nothing wrong with it.....unless your just locked into a place where he HAS to be a 40/40 player. I'm not there. If the guy is 20/20 and checks like hell, and works his butt off...well to be honest I'm a very happy guy. If we get just one Stephane Matteau moment from his career, we'll all be exceedingly happy. Jessiman will be 22 yrs old on 3/28. That is young considering how much experience he actually has. My feeling is that he will need a full two more years in the minors. Hell, I'm thinking he might have a pretty tough time starting the year in Hartford next season given how many guys are coming up. I just believe he will do some big things for Ranger fans someday if we will just support him a little and be patient.
That's my rant, thanks for listening.
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