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All-Time Florida Panthers Roster Countdown: 249-245

Today, we take a look at Matt Herr, Doug Barrault, Hugh Jessiman, David Emma, and Chris Wells.


249. Matt Herr

Herr was a 6'2" center from Hackensack, New Jersey. After a high school career which saw him score 102 goals and 70 assists in 90 games, he was selected in the fourth round of the 1994 NHL Entry Draft by the Washington Capitals with the 93rd overall pick.

Herr then played college hockey, pursuing a degree in education and psychology at the University of Michigan. In four seasons with the Wolverines, he scored 72 goals and 61 assists in 151 games, graduating with the class of 1998.

Herr opened the 1998-99 season with the Capitals, before having spent any time in the Caps minor league system. In 30 games with Washington, he scored two goals and two assists with a minus-7 rating and eight penalty minutes. Most of the season was spent with the AHL Portland Pirates, scoring 15 goals and 14 assists in 46 games.

In 1999-00, Herr played the whole season in Portland, finishing with 22 goals and 21 assists in 77 games. 2000-01 would see Herr again start the season in Portland, but injuries forced the Caps to call him up in December. Herr played well, in 22 games with Washington he scored two goals and three assists with a plus-3 rating and 17 penalty minutes. After being sent back to the Pirates, the Caps organization traded him to the Philadelphia Flyers for Dean Melanson.

During the offseason, Herr signed a free agent contract with the Panthers. He would spend 61 games out of the 2001-02 season with the AHL Hershey Bears, scoring 34 points. During the season, he was twice called up to fill in with the Cats, in November and again in January. In three games total he accrued a minus-2 rating and took one shot on goal over 32 shifts. He signed on with the Boston Bruins after the season, and would play three games with the NHL club. He burnt up most of two seasons with the AHL Providence Bruins, scoring 52 goals and 64 assists in 148 games.

When the NHL lost the 2004-05 season, Herr played one year with the DEG Metro Stars Dusseldorf in Germany, in 44 games scoring 13 goals and seven assists.

Herr left professional hockey after the season, and now teaches history and psychology in Connecticut, at the Kent School. He also coaches the baseball and hockey teams.

All-Time Statline: One season, three games, zero goals, zero assists, zero points, minus-2 rating, zero PIM, -0.1 APS.

248. Doug Barrault

Barrault was a 6'2" right winger from Golden, British Columbia, skating with the WHL Lethbridge Hurricanes when selected by the Minnesota North Stars in the eighth round of the 1990 NHL Entry Draft, 155th overall.

After selection, Barrault finished another season in the WHL, with the Seattle Thunderbirds. In three WHL seasons overall, he scored 72 goals with 73 assists in 176 games. Beginning with the 1991-92 season, he reported to the North Stars IHL franchise, the Kalamazoo Wings.

In two seasons with Kalamazoo, Barrault totalled 37 goals and 48 assists in 138 games. He received his first call-up for NHL action in a December matchup against the Ottawa Senators (a 3-1 victory), and a second for a January matchup with the Tampa Bay Lightning (Barrault went minus-1 in a 2-2 tie).

Barrault officially joined the North Stars for the move to Dallas in the 1993 offseason (on June 9th), but left unprotected in the Expansion Draft, was selected by Florida just 15 days later.

For the 1993-94 season, Barrault joined the Panthers IHL affiliate, the Cincinnati Cyclones, scoring 36 goals with 28 assists in 75 games. He earned a two-game NHL callup in February, not scoring while posting a minus-2 rating, with two shots on goal. Florida lost to the Detroit Red Wings, 7-3, then the Buffalo Sabres, 4-1. Barrault was sent back to Cincinnati, where he spent the entire 1994-95 season, scoring 20 goals and 40 assists in 74 games.

Barrault played three more seasons afterwards in the IHL with the Atlanta Knights and the Chicago Wolves, never again appearing in an NHL game.

All-Time Statline: One season, two games, zero goals, zero assists, zero points, minus-2 rating, zero PIM, -0.1 APS.

247. Hugh Jessiman

Jessiman is a 6'6" behemoth right winger from New York City, skating with the Dartmouth Big Green. Aptly, he was drafted by the New York Rangers in the first round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, with the 12th overall pick. Over three seasons in Dartmouth ending in 2004-05, Jessiman scored 40 goals and 42 assists in 80 games.

Starting in 2005-06, Jessiman languished between the AHL Hartford Wolf Pack and the ECHL Charlotte Checkers for three seasons. He scored 25 goals and 20 assists with 108 PIM in 45 games for the Checkers, also collecting 32 goals and 42 assists with 299 PIM in 166 games with Hartford.

After six games with the Wolf Pack in 2008-09, Jessiman was traded to the Nashville Predators. Over the next two seasons, he played with Nashville's AHL affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals, totalling 40 goals and 29 assists with 211 PIM in 141 games played.

Jessiman signed on as a free agent with the Chicago Black Hawks just prior to the 2010-11 season. After 25 games with the AHL Rockford IceHogs, he was traded to the Panthers along with Jack Skille for David Pacan and Michael Frolik. He played 25 games with the Rochester Americans, earning his first call-up eight seasons after getting drafted. He played 20 shifts over two games with the Panthers, finishing with a minus-1 rating and five PIM from a memorable fight with the Carolina Hurricanes Troy Bodie.

Jessiman is currently playing with the AHL Lake Erie Monsters, affilate of the Colorado Avalanche.

All-Time Statline: One season, two games, zero goals, zero assists, zero points, minus-1 rating, five PIM, -0.1 APS.

Hugh Jessiman vs Troy Bodie Mar 1, 2011 (via hockeyfightsdotcom)

246. David Emma

Emma was a 5'10" center from Cranston, Rhode Island when drafted out of Boston College in the sixth round of the 1989 NHL Entry Draft by the New Jersey Devils, 110th overall. For the Eagles, the Class of 1991 product scored 112 goals and 127 assists in 147 games over four seasons, winning the 1991 Hobey Baker Award. Concurrently with his BC responsibilities, he was also part of the US National Team parts of five seasons, from 1987-88 through 1991-92 playing in 85 games and scoring 22 goals with 19 assists.

In 1991-92, Emma joined the AHL Utica Devils, scoring four goals and seven assists in his 15 game professional debut. He spent the balance of the 1992-93 season in Utica, scoring a point per game over 61 games. He earned his first NHL action in November, as the Devils lost twice to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Emma did not score, taking two shots on goal.

Emma joined the AHL Albany River Rats in 1993-94, scoring 55 points in 56 games. He performed well in an extended 15-game callup to the Devils in December and January, totalling five goals (two game winners) and five assists.

1994-95 would see Emma skate with the Devils for six games, collecting one assist and a minus-2 rating. After scoring 30 goals with 32 assists with the IHL Detroit Vipers in 1995-96, he would sign as a free agent with the Boston Bruins.

Emma spent the balance of the 1996-97 season with the AHL Providence Bruins, earning an unproductive five game look with Boston. He signed for the next three seasons with the Austrian team, Klagenfurter AC.

On August 1, 2000, Emma signed a free agent contract with Florida. He played 55 games with the Louisville Panthers, scoring 50 points. For 71 shifts over six games in November, he filled an NHL roster spot, not scoring while taking six shots on goal, and finishing with a minus-1 rating. The Panthers traded him to the Washington Capitals for Remi Moyer on March 3rd, where he finished the season with the Portland Pirates.

After missing the entire 2001-02 season with a back injury, Emma announced his retirement on July 28, 2002.

245. Chris Wells

Wells was a 6'6" center from Calgary, Alberta. He had just finished his third season with the WHL Seattle Thunderbirds when drafted in the first round of the 1994 NHL Entry Draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins with the 24th overall pick. Over four seasons in Seattle, ending in 1994-95, Wells played 265 games, scoring 106 goals and 152 assists with 489 PIM.

Wells spent the entire 1995-96 season with the Pittsburgh Penguins, scoring two goals and two assists in 54 games, registering a minus-6 rating with a career high 59 penalty minutes. In 1996-97, after 15 games with the IHL Cleveland Lumberjacks, he was traded to Florida for Stu Barnes and Jason Woolley.

Wells immediately joined the NHL Panthers, skating in 47 contests and scoring two goals and six assists, posting a career high plus-5 rating, and earning 42 minutes in the penalty box. He was a nonfactor in Florida's 1997 postseason, earning one healthy scratch and a minus-1 rating in three games.

Wells enjoyed the best numbers of his NHL career in 1997-98, over 61 Panthers games he scored five goals and 10 assists with a plus-4 rating and 47 PIM.

In 1998-99, Wells was limited by injury, playing 20 Florida games starting in February. He collected two assists and a minus-4 rating with 31 penalty minutes. He had less of an impact the following season, in 1999-00, over 13 games earning a minus-5 rating with 14 penalty minutes. Florida traded him to the New York Rangers for future considerations on March 13th.

Wells spent the succeeding three seasons in the Rangers minor league system, with the IHL Utah Grizzlies, the AHL Portland Pirates and the ECHL Wheeling Nailers. He split the 2002-03 season between the Russian team, Amur Khabarovsk and the ECHL Peoria Rivermen before calling it quits.

All-Time Statline: Four seasons, 141 games, seven goals, 18 assists, 25 points, even rating, 134 PIM, -0.1 APS.

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.