Stats, analysis and commentary.
By Mike Casey

*Note: The Rangers did not have first-round picks in 1995, 2000 and 2002.

Credit: Newsday / Paul Bereswill

1991: ALEXEI KOVALEV (15th overall)
Right wing
Career Rangers stats: 142 goals, 188 assists, 533 PIM in 492 games.
Career NHL stats: 428 goals, 596 assists, 1,298 PIM in 1,302 games.
The man who defined the word enigma had two different stints with the Rangers (1992-99 and 2002-04). In a predictably unpredictable NHL career, Kovalev has alternatively thrived and shriveled in four NHL cities. Rangers fans who remember his contributions to the 1994 Stanley Cup champions, for whom he scored 21 points in 23 playoff games, may be surprised to learn he never had more than 24 goals in a season for the Blueshirts. Despite his frustrating tendencies, you can't question Kovalev's talent -- not many guys get to 400 career goals.
Impact: Hit

Credit: Newsday / Paul J. Bereswill

1992: PETER FERRARO (24th overall)
Right wing
Career Rangers stats: 0 goals, 1 assist, 2 PIM in 8 games.
Career NHL stats: 9 goals, 15 assists, 58 PIM in 92 games.
The Port Jefferson native dominated the college ranks at the U. of Maine, but could never break into the Rangers' star-filled lineup. Peter's twin brother Chris, also drafted by the Rangers in 1992, spent time with both the Blueshirts and Islanders, but had similar struggles. Ferraro played with four different NHL teams, never scoring more than six goals in a season. He retired in 2009 and currently runs a hockey camp at IceWorks in Syosset with Chris and a third brother, Joe.
Impact: Miss

Credit: Newsday / John Keating

1994: DAN CLOUTIER (26th overall)
Goaltender
Career Rangers stats: 10-13-4, 2.62 GAA, .912 save percentage in 34 games.
Career NHL stats: 139-142-37, 2.77 GAA, .899 save percentage in 351 games.
Long billed as the Rangers' goalie of the future, Cloutier was part of a 1999 gambol by then-GM Neil Smith. Smith dealt Cloutier along with Niklas Sunstrom and first- and third-round picks to Tampa Bay for the No. 4 overall pick, which Smith used to select forward Pavel Brendl. Brendl was one of the worst busts in recent memory, while Cloutier went on to have a decent career with Vancouver, winning 30 games three times, after toiling in Tampa for two years. To this day, the irascible goaltender is best-remembered by Rangers fans for his furious blows to the head of Islanders goalie Tommy Salo in a 1998 Rangers-Islanders brawl.
Impact: Miss

Credit: AP, 1996

1996: JEFF BROWN (22nd overall)
Defenseman
Career Rangers stats: No games played.
Career NHL stats: No games played.
A hard-hitting defenseman drafted as the heir apparent to Jeff Beukeboom, Brown never played a game in the NHL. He endured three minor-league seasons as he struggled to develop his game, then spent three seasons playing in hockey no-man's-land in England. He eventually returned to North American hockey, but never rose above the AHL level. He last played professionally for the Kalamazoo Wings of the low-level United Hockey League.
Impact: Miss

Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

1997: STEFAN CHERNESKI (19th overall)
Right wing
Career Rangers stats: No games played.
Career NHL stats: No games played.
A gritty scoring winger, Cherneski was ticketed for a role on the Rangers as a second or third line player after a 43-goal season for the WHL's Brandon Wheat Kings in 1997-98, but disaster struck when he shattered his knee cap playing for the AHL Wolf Pack in 1998, derailing his career. After two years of rehab and comeback attempts, Cherneski was forced to retire in 2001.
Impact: Miss

Credit: AP

1998: MANNY MALHOTRA (7th overall)
Center
Career Rangers stats: 19 goals, 22 assists, 90 PIM in 206 games.
Career NHL stats: 108 goals, 170 assists, 421 PIM in 855 games.
A two-way centerman who drew comparisons to Selke-winner and 20-goal scorer Mike Peca, Malhotra made the Rangers out of his first training camp, but never developed the scoring touch or toughness the Rangers expected from him. He played four seasons for the Rangers, never scoring more than seven goals, and was traded to Dallas in 2002 for Martin Rucinsky and Roman Lyashenko. Undeterred by the disappointing start to his career, Malhotra has perservered as a solid checking-line center and is currently a member of the Vancouver Canucks.
Impact: Miss

Credit: AP

1999: PAVEL BRENDL (4th overall)
Right wing
Career Rangers stats: No games played.
Career NHL stats: 11 goals, 11 assists, 16 PIM in 78 games.
In a 1999 draft loaded with overhyped duds, Brendl was the biggest dud of all. Drafted one spot after Vancouver nabbed both Sedin twins, Brendl was considered a superior offensive talent; a Rangers scout called him "one of the best pure goal-scorers that's been available for a long time." The Rangers so coveted Brendl, they gave up two high draft picks and two of their most highly valued young players -- Dan Cloutier and Niklas Sundstrom -- to draft him. Brendl's transformation from can't miss to bust was a familiar one. He showed up to his first training camp out of shape and was sent back to Juniors. By 2001, one NHL GM described him to Newsday as "a head case; one of those guys you don't know if he's going to show up." Brendl never played a game for the Rangers, who unloaded him to Philadelphia in their 2001 trade for Eric Lindros. He went on to play just 78 games for three NHL teams. He played the 2010-11 season in Russia's KHL and hasn't played in North America since 2006.
Impact: Miss

Credit: Newsday / Paul J. Bereswill

1999: JAMIE LUNDMARK (9th overall)
Center
Career Rangers stats: 11 goals, 19 assists, 55 PIM in 114 games.
Career NHL stats: 40 goals, 59 assists, 204 PIM in 295 games.
Another member of the bust-filled 1999 first-round draft class, Lundmark drew comparisons to Steve Yzerman for his leadership and strong two-way play. The Rangers gave up a good young player, center Marc Savard, to acquire the draft pick they used on Lundmark, along with prospect Jan Hlavac. Lundmark had an encouraging rookie campaign, but scored just twice for the Rangers in 2003-04. He was eventually traded to Phoenix for fellow first-round bust Jeff Taffe. About the only thing Lundmark's and Yzerman's NHL careers have in common now is that both are over.
Impact: Miss

Credit: Newsday / Paul J. Bereswill, 2002

2001: DAN BLACKBURN (7th overall)
Goaltender
Career Rangers stats: 20-32-4, 3.22 GAA, .894 save percentage in 63 games.
Career NHL stats: 20-32-4, 3.22 GAA, .894 save percentage in 63 games.
Drafted as the heir to Mike Richter's throne, Blackburn was thrust into that role at just 18 years old when Richter suffered a concussion in the 2001-02 season. He played well enough to earn himself a spot in the NHL's YoungStars game. His career seemed to be on track, if a little rushed. Unfortunately, while preparing for 2003 training camp, Blackburn suffered a nerve injury while lifting weights. The injury prevented him from rotating his left arm and made it impossible for him to use a catching glove. He attempted a comeback after the NHL lockout using a modified blocker with a small trapper underneath. But he could never overcome the injury he called "a permanent disability" and retired at age 22.
Impact: Miss

Credit: AP

2003: HUGH JESSIMAN (12th overall)
Right wing
Career Rangers stats: No games played.
Career NHL stats: 0 goals, 0 assists, 5 PIM in 2 games.
A hulking winger with a scoring touch and a nasty streak, the Rangers hoped Jessiman would become a first-line power forward. But he tore an ankle ligament in November 2004, severely hindering his development. He never suited up for the Rangers, despite trying to reinvent himself as a checking-line enforcer who could pop in the occasional goal. He spent that past few years in the minors until, in a surprising development, he was included as part of a 2011 big trade between Chicago and Florida that sent Michal Frolik to the Blackhawks for top prospect Jack Skille. Jessiman finally made his NHL debut just a month shy of his 26th birthday, playing two games for Florida and getting into one fight.
Impact: Miss

Credit: Getty Images

2004: AL MONTOYA (6th overall)
Goaltender
Career Rangers stats: No games played.
Career NHL stats: 21-17-5, 2.76 GAA, .906 save percentage in 57 games.
The Rangers tabbed Montoya after two outstanding seasons at the U. of Michigan. In his second pro camp, Montoya's had an outside shot to make the team as Kevin Weekes' backup coming out of the NHL lockout. But a former seventh-round pick from Sweden named Lundqvist scuttled that plan. Montoya struggled with injuries and inconsistency over the next three seasons and never played a game as a Ranger. In 2008, he was traded to Phoenix for three players, including Fredrik Sjostrom. It seemed likely that would be the last any New York-area fans would hear of Montoya. But after a plague of goaltender injuries in 2010-11, the Islanders took a flyer on Montoya and got themselves a bargain. He went 9-5-5 for them in 25 games, then 9-11 the following season.
Impact: Miss

Credit: Jim McIsaac

2005: MARC STAAL (12th overall)
Defenseman
Career Rangers/NHL stats: 22 goals, 64 assists, 216 PIM in 367 games.
After years of striking out, the Rangers finally found first-round talent in the first round. The shutdown defenseman has become a lynchpin of the Rangers defense and vital part of the team's young core. At 24 years old, he made his first All-Star Game appearance in 2011 and set a career high with 29 points in 77 games.
Impact: Hit

Credit: AP

2006: BOBBY SANGUINETTI (21st overall)
Defenseman
Career Rangers stats: 0 goals, 0 assists, 4 PIM in 5 games.
Career NHL stats: 0 goals, 0 assists, 4 PIM in 8 games.
The New Jersey native represented the Rangers' first attempt to find a new power play quarterback. After scoring 70 points for the AHL's Brampton Battalion in 2007-08, he played his first full pro season with the Hartford Wolf Pack and scored 42 points in 2008-09. He made his NHL debut in 2009-10 for the Rangers, but played just five nervous games before being returned to Hartford. With the emergence of Michael Del Zotto that same season, the Rangers deemed Sanguinetti expendable and dealt him to Carolina for second- and sixth-round picks on June 25, 2010.
Impact: Miss

Credit: AP

2007: ALEXEI CHEREPANOV (17th overall)
Right wing
Career Rangers stats: No games played.
Career NHL stats: No games played.
The tragic story of Alexei Cherepanov began with the Rangers selecting him in 2007 after the Russian fell to them at the 17th pick. Cherepanov was widely believed to be among of the five best prospects in a draft that included talents like Patrick Kane and James van Riemsdyk, but concerns about his contract with Russia's Avangard Omsk club and the lack of a transfer agreement between the NHL and KHL scared teams away. In 2008, he was joined on Omsk by former Rangers captain Jaromir Jagr in 2008-09. During a game on Oct. 13, 2008, Jagr and Cherepanov missed a 2-on-1. While discussing the play with Jagr on the bench, the 19-year-old Cherepanov collapsed and died. An investigation by Russian officials later claimed that Cherepanov had been using an unspecified performance-enhancing drug and also suffered from a heart condition called myocarditis, which they said team doctors should have detected during his physical.
Impact: Miss

Credit: Jim McIsaac

2008: MICHAEL DEL ZOTTO (20th overall)
Defenseman
Career Rangers/NHL stats: 21 goals, 68 assists, 88 PIM in 204 games.
The 19-year-old Del Zotto surprised many by making the Rangers out of training camp in 2009. He was quickly given the reins of the Rangers' power play, scoring four goals and 12 points that October and being named the NHL's Rookie of the Month. He finished his rookie year with nine goals and 37 points, raising hopes that the Rangers were close to finally finding a replacement for Brian Leetch on the point. But Del Zotto's 2010-11 season was a step back. He scored just 11 points in 47 games, was sent down to the AHL in February and broke a finger in March, ending his season. Del Zotto returned to finish with 41 points and a career-best plus/minus of +20 his third season.
Impact: TBA

Credit: Getty Images

2009: CHRIS KREIDER (19th overall)
Center
Career Rangers/NHL stats: No regular seasongames played.
The 20-year-old Boston College center has already won an NCAA championship, a World Junior championship (for Team USA) and was named MVP of the 2011 Beanpot Tournament. That impressive resume had Rangers fans licking their chops. Kreider didn't disappoint, making his debut in the 2012 NHL postseason and scoring goals in three straight games.
Impact: TBA

Credit: AP

2010: DYLAN MCILRATH (10th overall)
Defenseman
Career Rangers/NHL stats: No games plaed
McIlrath figures to give the Rangers a tough-nosed defenseman. He has played in the WHL for most of his minor league career, and may still be some time away from an NHL debut.
Impact: TBA

Credit: AP

2011: J.T. MILLER (15th overall)
Center
Career Rangers/NHL stats: No games plaed
J.T. Miller opted to sign an NHL entry-level contract, and played in the OHL as a 19-year-old. Miller showed the ability to have a major impact on the offense, totaling 62 points in 61 games.
Impact: TBA

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