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02-08-2013, 09:57 PM
Join Date: Aug 2011
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Originally Posted by Beacon View Post
No, we kept thinking that our top prospects (Dube, Savard, Cherneski, Brendl, Lundmark, Holmqvist, Blackburn, Tyutin) were going to be All Stars. Only Savard panned out as such, and Tyutin is ok. Two guys retired due to injury.

Cherneski looked great, could've easily become a 30-goal scorer. He was like a faster version of Adam Graves. His loss hurt a lot. He was only sent down to the AHL for a few weeks, was the last cut about 24 hours before the regular season began. His knee was destroyed into little pieces. Looked horrible on the X-ray.

But anyway, there was never a feeling between 1998 and 2003 that we have a lot of prospects.

To be honest, after the 1995 draft I felt the Rangers were in really good shape, and after getting burned there, I have been extremely apprehensive about saying anything good about our prospects until I see very, very distinct signs from them. My Islander fan friend is still throwing Dube in my face, I kid you not.

But at the time, Dube looked great in the juniors and so did Savard. Mike Martin, a tough defensive defenseman managed to score for over a point per game. Bob Maudie exploded for over 100 points, and there was hope that he was a really good prospect (turned out he was just Iginla's center). Vasiliev looked terrific in the Russian league, and you could tell quickly that Purinton will become a low-end NHLer. And that's all just from the 1995 draft.

We had Norstom growing into his own. He was called "untouchable" literally 2 days before he was traded with Ferraro for the injured McSorley, washed-up Kurri and useless Churla.

There was also the belief that Cloutier might become a really good goalie. Sundstrom was presented by Rangers PR as the next Jari Kurri. Even Lee Sorochan, Maxim Galanov, Joby Messier and Barry Richter were seen as quality prospects. The Ferraro brothers kept going hot/cold one after another, but were seen as real prospects. Blouin was a brutally good fighter, but couldn't do anything else.

After this bunch came Jeff Brown and Wes Jarvis on defense, and there was Dan Goneau, who scored over a point per game in his first 10 games of the 1996-97 season, only to peter out completely. The same happened to Vorobiev, who within a dozen games was on the RW with Messier and Graves, scoring like crazy, only to completely disappear from the scene just as quickly as he made his debut.

The prospects of the mid-90s were just a big disappointment. And after them it was just terrible drafting. For half a dozen years, it felt terrible. Every season I argued on AOL's Rangers board that we need to rebuild, and was abused for calling on the team to trade away Leetch, Beuk, even guys like Momesso and Flatley. Everyone wanted to add to the team, everyone felt that we are only 1-2 players away from the playoffs, and once you make it, even as a #8 seed, "anything can happen."

I can't describe how relieved and happy I was when we decided to clean the house 9 years ago.
This is a terrific post, very informative about some really dark days for this franchise. Some of the guys we drafted make you wonder about our ability to both analyze and then develop young talent.
Some of the trades Neal Smith made were downright head scratchers! Well done!

Drewbackatu* is offline