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Jessiman? Any chance?

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09-03-2009, 07:23 AM
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OpenWheel
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Jessiman? Any chance?

A few questions about Hugh Jessiman. How good of a fighter is he? I was wondering if we need a guy like Belak on the club, and if there's any chance Jessiman could be an upgrade? Some say he's a good fighter, others say he gets cleaned too often. I say it doesn't matter. Fighters go out to fight and stop the crap. They don't have to win the majority of their bouts to accomplish this, although it's a bonus.

I read some stuff by Rangers fans written last summer. One guy said the Rangers had just started to coach him to play only north south and to protect his teammates. And I noticed that while his previous AHL stats had more assists then goals, last year (supposedly after preseason being coached to just play north south, not sure how Milwaukee coached him, similar I assume) he had 20 goals and only 7 assists, in 63 games with Milwaukee. So maybe he'd be an enforcer who would, happy day, pop in a goal when he was out there enforcing...

I was wondering if he had a chance to help out more than Belak?

Another Ranger poster thought Jessiman's work ethic hadn't been the best, but the previous season they had heard he had become more dedicated. Just searching for info. The Rangers posters said his balance was fairly bad. But the HF prospect thingy says he skates well for such a big man. And still lists him as 7.0 C, which seems wildly optimistic.

Anyway, after seeing Ward "bloom" later in his career, I am wondering if we acquired Jessiman for more than Milwaukee.

Edit: Also, how many minutes and what type of role did Jessiman have in Milwaukee? His numbers don't look bad, 20 goals, but I didn't see minutes. And what sort of contract does Belak have? Can he be cut, and what are the repercussions?

Now thinking I should have posted the Jessiman question on the AHL area or a Admirals message board. But whatever anyone can tell me, I'd appreciate.


Last edited by OpenWheel: 09-03-2009 at 07:40 AM.
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09-03-2009, 07:45 AM
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I'll be the first to admit that I've never seen Jessiman play since watching a Dartmouth game on NESN way back when. However, I do believe that he was acquired as a reclamation project with the potential/hope that he could contribute to the organization as a Nashville Predator in the future.

Jessiman will definitely be a guy to keep an eye on at camp to watch for things you mentioned like his balance, skating, overall skill level, and most importantly his work ethic. I really don't think he stands much of a chance at making the team out of camp and don't believe he is being groomed as an enforcer, however I do think that he will be sent to Milwaukee with specific instructions on what the Predators want to see from him in order for a recall and that he stands a chance at getting a call-up later in the season if the opportunity arises.

Hugh is a UFA at season's end and holds the dubious distinction of being the only player drafted in the first round of his draft year that hasn't played in the NHL yet. It's really put up or shut up time for him to determine whether he will spend his career toiling in the minor leagues or whether he will get his chance at the NHL and possibly make something of his career...

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09-03-2009, 08:43 AM
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Thanks.

I haven't seen him play. I just think his AHL numbers haven't looked all that bad. (In addition to 20 goals last season, and 40 some points the year before, he's been plus on the plus/minus both years) The reason I was thinking enforcer was it was something extra if he otherwise was close but marginal.

I also was turning around in my head whether an enforcer spot was better as a forward, so you still could have quality defenders on the ice. Rather than roll out a defender/enforcer and the other team scores a quick one before he can bop somebody...

Plus, we still seem short on big guys to park in front of the net when the opposition indicates that could be useful. So I was wondering if he could be that nice combination of a fighter who can also play.

One friend of his made a post where he said a broken ankle at the end of the Dartmouth career set him way back, as he wasn't fully recovered when he went pro and was outmatched and lost confidence.

One sad note. I saw where his mother died in some sort of hiking accident in July, when the family was in Scotland on vacation. She was only 51. I wish him well, it must be a tough time.


Last edited by OpenWheel: 09-03-2009 at 08:58 AM.
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09-03-2009, 09:04 AM
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Hopefully Admirals Short Shifts will chime in too, but here's my opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenWheel View Post
A few questions about Hugh Jessiman. How good of a fighter is he? I was wondering if we need a guy like Belak on the club, and if there's any chance Jessiman could be an upgrade? Some say he's a good fighter, others say he gets cleaned too often. I say it doesn't matter. Fighters go out to fight and stop the crap. They don't have to win the majority of their bouts to accomplish this, although it's a bonus.
Hugh isn't afraid to drop the gloves, but rarely does he seem to fight a team's known enforcer (typically because he doesnt play 4th line minutes). He can hold is own most of the time though.

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Originally Posted by OpenWheel View Post
I read some stuff by Rangers fans written last summer. One guy said the Rangers had just started to coach him to play only north south and to protect his teammates.
Hugh is too slow IMO to be able to do much more than N/S play. He is definately not the stickhandling/playmaker type, but has a good shot if a teammate can get him the puck.


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Originally Posted by OpenWheel View Post
I was wondering if he had a chance to help out more than Belak?
Doubtful, I'd hate to see him try to take on the people Wade has.


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Originally Posted by OpenWheel View Post
Another Ranger poster thought Jessiman's work ethic hadn't been the best, but the previous season they had heard he had become more dedicated.
Can't comment on what he was like with Hartford/NY or at practice sessions, but he's one of a few players out on the ice before warmups shooting around getting some extra practice in.

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09-03-2009, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by cjerina View Post
Hugh is too slow IMO to be able to do much more than N/S play. He is definately not the stickhandling/playmaker type, but has a good shot if a teammate can get him the puck.
Sounds like the N/S game would be the best fit for him then. If he can be defensively responsible and use his size to create room for his linemates to operate within, Hugh sounds like someone who could flourish with a couple of speedy playmakers on his line lugging the puck up ice and feeding him when open for a shot.

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09-03-2009, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by OpenWheel View Post
I also was turning around in my head whether an enforcer spot was better as a forward, so you still could have quality defenders on the ice. Rather than roll out a defender/enforcer and the other team scores a quick one before he can bop somebody...
Of course the forward position is better for an enforcer. That's why Belak is a winger now and not a defenseman. Jessiman will fight, but he is far from an enforcer-type. He would get his hindquarters handed to him on a silver platter by guys like Brashear or Boogaard. He's more like Tarnasky than Belak.

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09-03-2009, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by worstfaceoffmanever View Post
Of course the forward position is better for an enforcer. That's why Belak is a winger now and not a defenseman.
Oops. Durrr... I forgot about that. I looked some past statistics where he was listed at defense, and for some reason I thought he'd been talked about in some post here as a 7th D-man this year. But I assume they meant in a pinch. So I was thinking "that's a poor spot for an enforcer" lol.

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09-03-2009, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenWheel View Post
Oops. Durrr... I forgot about that. I looked some past statistics where he was listed at defense, and for some reason I thought he'd been talked about in some post here as a 7th D-man this year. But I assume they meant in a pinch. So I was thinking "that's a poor spot for an enforcer" lol.
Yes, all discussion of Belak as a 7th defenseman has been in the vein of "in an absolute emergency". I think we can all agree that no one wants to see Beeler lineup at defense this season...

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09-03-2009, 10:52 AM
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Our take on Jessiman's season last year -- he made some good strides to get himself back on track. The production sure caught us by surprise, and he had arguably three of the top 5 highlight reel goals of the season. I haven't checked, but I hope that link still works. I don't have any knocks on his attitude or work ethic. He fit in well with the team, and when he wasn't in the lineup, his absense was noticed.

For someone of his size, he should be a better fighter than he is. If you're looking for a sleeper toughguy to make the Preds, I'd put Triston Grant ahead of Jessiman on that depth chart. Grant is a lot more responsible defensively, and I think would match up better against the goons of the NHL. The guy took a slapshot off his jaw, and instead of sprawling out on the ice, he just brushed it off, got up, and skated to the bench. The guy is tough. Would he benefit more from getting regular minutes at the AHL instead of being the 13th forward in Nashville? Tough to say.

I think Jessiman's success at the NHL level will be determined by the cast of characters he plays with. Last year in Milwaukee, he got a lot of minutes on the top two lines. Would he get that in Nashville? I doubt it. But then again, some are projecting the 3rd line to be guys he played with last year in Milwaukee. Jones - O'Reilly - Jessiman? I doubt it, but strange things happen sometimes.

I hope he had a great off-season hockey-wise, and we'll be cheering for him during camp. But I expect he'll spend most of this season up nort'.

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09-03-2009, 11:07 AM
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I was just picking through some of those youtube vids and man does Jessiman and Oreilly have some great occassional chemistry or what?!

Check out this beauty

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09-03-2009, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdmiralsShortShifts View Post
If you're looking for a sleeper toughguy to make the Preds,
Naw. I just am not a fan of having a guy strictly as a tough. For one thing they're not on the ice enough to do much protecting.

Last year we had Shea Weber going, too often, because he'd see something he felt he should respond to. Shea was effective but I don't want him getting hurt. Someone like Jessiman may be actually on the ice, and could go when needed. For a guy like Belak, by the time you send him out there, he ends up fighting the other enforcer. When what needs to happen is to rough up the player who actually took the cheap shot to begin with. And when we don't have guys out skating who will take that role, we get pushed around.

So I'm thinking they should account for that ability in considering Jessiman to make the club.

Thanks for the post. I only found your blog just a few days ago and that's where I saw the news about Hugh's mom.

That's a good goal by Jessiman in the vid link you posted.


Last edited by OpenWheel: 09-03-2009 at 12:16 PM.
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09-03-2009, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by burnlikestars View Post
I was just picking through some of those youtube vids and man does Jessiman and Oreilly have some great occassional chemistry or what?!
That no-look by O'reilly is Colin Wilson-esque.

I watched a lot of those vids. If you only see highlights it's tempting to say Jessiman has mad skilz!

OK, not that far. But he looks a lot better skater than I've been hearing. Not bad at all. Good balance. And he does seem to have a very nice wrist shot.


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09-03-2009, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenWheel View Post
That no-look by O'reilly is Colin Wilson-esque.

I watched a lot of those vids. If you only see highlights it's tempting to say Jessiman has mad skilz!

OK, not that far. But he looks a lot better skater than I've been hearing. Not bad at all. Good balance. And he does seem to have a very nice wrist shot.
The no look was from Jones. O'Reilly threw it up for Jones who no looked it across center for Jessiman.

edit: and actually on another review, O'Reilly's pass to Jones also looks like he wasn't looking as well.

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09-03-2009, 01:01 PM
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The no look was from Jones. O'Reilly threw it up for Jones who no looked it across center for Jessiman.

edit: and actually on another review, O'Reilly's pass to Jones also looks like he wasn't looking as well.
I did mean the feed from Jones though, you're right. He caught the nice feed (no look ) from O'Reilly with his skate and kicked it ahead, corralled it, and did the feed to Jessiman backhand. Sweet by both O'Reilly and Jones. Jessiman just had to not miss, as he drove the net perfectly.


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09-03-2009, 01:08 PM
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yeah I mean you can definetly see the potential is down in there somewhere. Makes me kinda see why we would be interested in picking him up, I was scratching my head on it for a while because Ive never seen him play.

Also really getting excited about Oreillys development after watching some of those videos.

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09-03-2009, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenWheel View Post
Naw. I just am not a fan of having a guy strictly as a tough. For one thing they're not on the ice enough to do much protecting.
Triston brings more to the game than just throwing punches. An excellent PKer and physical player... he wont score many goals for you, but a solid 4th liner.

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09-03-2009, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdmiralsShortShifts View Post
For someone of his size, he should be a better fighter than he is. If you're looking for a sleeper toughguy to make the Preds, I'd put Triston Grant ahead of Jessiman on that depth chart. Grant is a lot more responsible defensively, and I think would match up better against the goons of the NHL. The guy took a slapshot off his jaw, and instead of sprawling out on the ice, he just brushed it off, got up, and skated to the bench. The guy is tough. Would he benefit more from getting regular minutes at the AHL instead of being the 13th forward in Nashville? Tough to say.
I think with the departure of Wilson and McKenzie's lack of reputation as a fighter, Grant's role within the organization has changed this year. He's pretty much *the* bodyguard for the Milwaukee guys now. He's the only guy other than Belak or Tootoo that can be expected to go toe to toe with other teams' tough guys on a regular basis.

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09-03-2009, 05:22 PM
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Triston brings more to the game than just throwing punches. An excellent PKer and physical player... he wont score many goals for you, but a solid 4th liner.
Sounds good. I wasn't looking for that really. More just wondering about Jessiman's play and whether he was close and if so, could fighting be a plus.

I like Belak. And he's tough. But he gets so little ice time sometimes I wish we had someone who would get more minutes. So when I said "bring more than Belak" I didn't mean as a fighter, I meant as a regular who could fight "just good enough". Maybe that's Grant.

I sort of enjoy the thought of a guy as big as Jessiman camped in front of the net someday too. Although from the vids he doesn't really play so "big". On ice (in the videos just now) he looks smaller than his listed numbers. And rather than solidly moving someone, he sort of pushes around like Arnott.

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09-03-2009, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by OpenWheel View Post
And rather than solidly moving someone, he sort of pushes around like Arnott.
Arnott has to be one of the biggest wastes of a big body since Robert Schnabel.

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09-03-2009, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by OpenWheel View Post
Sounds good. I wasn't looking for that really. More just wondering about Jessiman's play and whether he was close and if so, could fighting be a plus.

No worries, I knew what your original question was, I was just clarifying Admirals Short Shifts comments about Grant, that he has more hockey sense than the stereotypical enforcer/fighter that Wade is.

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09-03-2009, 07:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenWheel View Post
I like Belak. And he's tough. But he gets so little ice time sometimes I wish we had someone who would get more minutes. So when I said "bring more than Belak" I didn't mean as a fighter, I meant as a regular who could fight "just good enough". Maybe that's Grant.
Sounds a lot like Tootoo...

Jordin is in a contract year and has said repeatedly this summer in interviews that he'd like to score 20 goals this season. While I doubt that happens, I certainly hope that he rounds out his game more and has more of an impact than simply providing as an energy player. He is actually a solid PK'er in practice. It will be interesting to see if he gets the opportunity to fill in one of our open PK roles or whether he simply negates that skill by spending too much time in the sin bin...

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09-03-2009, 07:57 PM
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Sounds a lot like Tootoo...

Jordin is in a contract year and has said repeatedly this summer in interviews that he'd like to score 20 goals this season. While I doubt that happens, I certainly hope that he rounds out his game more and has more of an impact than simply providing as an energy player. He is actually a solid PK'er in practice. It will be interesting to see if he gets the opportunity to fill in one of our open PK roles or whether he simply negates that skill by spending too much time in the sin bin...
I haven't watched Tootoo in practice for a couple years now. But when I did, he was always goofing off and not taking things seriously. Even saw Trotz yell at him for screwing up. Has he matured or improved on his work ethic during practice? That is the first step if he ever wants to be more than a pest.

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09-03-2009, 08:18 PM
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I haven't watched Tootoo in practice for a couple years now. But when I did, he was always goofing off and not taking things seriously. Even saw Trotz yell at him for screwing up. Has he matured or improved on his work ethic during practice? That is the first step if he ever wants to be more than a pest.
Yeah, Jordin takes a regular PK role in practice during special teams time and uses his quick acceleration to aggressively attack passing lanes and jump on loose pucks. Remember though, this is usually in half-ice sets though, so one would have to question whether or not he could be disciplined enough to play PK in a full ice situation with a forechecking scheme where one of the key rules is to direct the puck and disrupt timing without finishing your check...

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09-03-2009, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by SLake View Post
Yeah, Jordin takes a regular PK role in practice during special teams time and uses his quick acceleration to aggressively attack passing lanes and jump on loose pucks. Remember though, this is usually in half-ice sets though, so one would have to question whether or not he could be disciplined enough to play PK in a full ice situation with a forechecking scheme where one of the key rules is to direct the puck and disrupt timing without finishing your check...
I don't see why he couldn't. Defending a powerplay is the most structured part of hockey. You don't have to be creative, have soft hands, or an accurate shot. Just quickness and the will to push through the burn of a long shift. Sure that's a little over simplified but tootoo isn't so stupid that he couldn't play the PK during a game.

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09-03-2009, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by nine_inch_fang View Post
I don't see why he couldn't. Defending a powerplay is the most structured part of hockey. You don't have to be creative, have soft hands, or an accurate shot. Just quickness and the will to push through the burn of a long shift. Sure that's a little over simplified but tootoo isn't so stupid that he couldn't play the PK during a game.
No, I agree. I guess what I'm saying is that until we see it, the question remains...can he be disciplined enough not to take himself out of the play by finishing a bodycheck up ice while shorthanded? I think he is smart enough, but it is instinctual for him to finish all his checks...

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