Ottawa inks noted draft bust Hugh Jessiman

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The Ottawa Senators have agreed on a one-year, two-way deal with 28-year-old journeyman Hugh Jessiman.

Jessiman — a 6-foot-6, 231-pound forward nicknamed “Huge Specimen” (get it?) — split last season between the American Hockey League’s Lake Erie Monsters and the Abbotsford Heat, recording 27 goals and 17 assists for 44 points in 67 games.

He’s appeared in two NHL contests, both with Florida.

Wondering why PHT is profiling the two-way contract of a career minor-leaguer? Well, it’s because Jessiman is not your typical career minor-leaguer.

He was taken 12th overall at the 2003 NHL Entry Draft — a draft widely regarded as one of the best in league history.

Here’s what I wrote about the ’03 draft back in December, updated to reflect this year’s Cup finals:

The first round was loaded with stars. It boasts Stanley Cup winners (Marc-Andre Fleury, Eric Staal, Nathan Horton, Brent Seabrook, Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Jeff Carter, Mike Richards, Dustin Brown), guys that lost in the Cup Finals (Zach Parise, Braydon Coburn, Ryan Kesler, Steve Bernier, Jeff Tambellini) and a bunch of good-to-solid players: Thomas Vanek, Brent Burns, Milan Michalek, Ryan Suter, Dion Phaneuf, Andrei Kostitsyn, Brian Boyle and Eric Fehr*.

But what sets the 2003 Draft apart is its depth. Let’s go round by round.

Round 2: Shea Weber, Patrice Bergeron, David Backes, Loui Eriksson, Matt Carle, Corey Crawford, Jimmy Howard, Maxim Lapierre, Kevin Klein, BJ Crombeen.

Round 3: Clarke MacArthur, Dan Carcillo, Ryan O’Byrne, Colin Fraser.

Round 4: Paul Bissonnette, Jan Hejda, Kyle Quincey, Corey Potter, Philippe Dupuis.

Round 5: Lee Stempniak, Brad Richardson.

Round 6: Marc Methot, Mark Flood, Drew Miller, Bruno Gervais.

Round 7 : Joe Pavelski, Kyle Brodziak.

Round 8: Dustin Byfuglien, Tobias Enstrom, Shane O’Brien.

Round 9 (and this is kinda nuts): Matt Moulson, Jaroslav Halak, Brian Elliott, David Jones, Tanner Glass, Chris Porter.

In conclusion, pretty solid draft.

Jessiman was part of the small first-round bust group that included Nik Zherdev (No. 5 overall), Robert Nilsson (15), Marc-Antoine Pouliot (22), Tambellini (27) and Shawn Belle (30).

* — As pointed out in the comments section, Fehr could be considered a bust.