Jessiman spoke with Howlings just prior to his boarding a plane for Milwaukee where he will join the Pred's AHL affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals.
"Kenny (Wolf Pack head coach, Ken Gernander) called me and told me about the trade. He told me that the organization was grateful for the effort that I'd put in and wished me well in Milwaukee." Jessiman said. "I then got a call from Milwaukee and they told me that they were looking forward to my joining the team and told me that I would have every opportunity to prove myself and get a shot at the NHL."
Of the 30 players selected in the 2003 draft, to this point, Jessiman is the only player to never have appeared in an NHL game. "I'm really happy to be going to Milwaukee. It's a fresh start. I'm just really disappointed that I couldn't make it work here (Hartford) or with the Rangers." Jessiman said. "Maybe it just wasn't meant to be but that Milwaukee can be a silver lining in all of this."
One of Jessiman's main problems is that the Rangers organization is so deep at the forward position. "My chances are better to make it to the NHL there." The
6-6, 235-pounder said, "There aren't as many people in front of me there and my chances will be a lot better."
The right winger from Darien, Connecticut joins former Wolf Pack teammate and ex-Ranger Jed Ortmeyer in the Predator's organization.
"I have no ill feelings at all towards the Rangers or the Wolf Pack. The fans have been great and very supportive. I have nothing but great respect for them all. I've made great friends here and look forward to what lies ahead."
Jessiman expects to be in the lineup Friday night when his new team, the Admirals take on the Detroit Red Wing's AHL affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee.
Here's a first look at Jessiman in his new Nashville jersey and the official release:
New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has traded forward Hugh Jessiman to the Nashville Predators for future considerations.
Jessiman, 24, has appeared in six games with the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL) this season. In 2007-08, he established AHL career-highs in games played (71), goals (18), assists (24), points (42), penalty minutes (154), and plus/minus rating (10). His 18 goals tied for fifth on the Wolf Pack, while he finished eighth on the club in assists. Jessiman also appeared in five playoff games with Hartford, recording one assist and a team-leading 21 penalty minutes.
The 6-6, 235-pounder has appeared in 172 career AHL games over four seasons with Hartford, collecting 32 goals and 42 assists for 74 points, along with 301 penalty minutes. He registered his first career AHL point, a game-winning goal, and added an assist on January 21, 2006 vs. Providence. In addition, Jessiman has skated in 14 career AHL playoff games with the Wolf Pack, recording one goal and one assist for two points, along with 30 penalty minutes.
The New York, New York native was originally selected as the Rangers first round draft choice, 12th overall, in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.