Jim Hammett was the Rangers head amateur scout during the 2007-08 season. He left the Rangers organization in the summer of 2008 to join TB as their director of player personnel. Hammett knew previous TB co-owner Len Barrie who hired him. Steve Yzerman hired Al Murray(ex Kings scout/Hockey Canada exec)to run the TB scouting department.
"We were really excited," Rangers Head Amateur Scout Jim Hammett said of the chance to draft Del Zotto. "We had held this guy in really high regard as far as how high he could go. We think that he belonged in that upper echelon with some of the other defensemen that went higher, so overall we were absolutely thrilled that he was still there
Personally, I am a huge fan of the '08 draft, but don't know much about him other than that. Out of curiosity, what are the TBL picks in the last couple of years that have everyone so high on Hammett? Hedman and Connolly were obvious no-brainer (albeit excellent!) picks and I don't know much about the other guys - so who are the gems that came later that prove he's such a great judge of talent?
(In case it's not clear, I'm not being sarcastic here - I legitimately want to know what later TBL picks in the last two drafts people think are proof of his acumen.)