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Is there space for McIlrath?

McIlrath

When will McIlrath be intimidating NHL forwards?

The Rangers drafted Dylan McIlrath 10th overall in 2010 and ever since, media and fans have been waiting for his arrival. While McIlrath is now completely healthy and at Rangers camp looking to make the team there doesn’t appear space in the defensive unit even though his style is an absolute need.

The Rangers are blessed with a strong top four when Marc Staal, Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh and Michael Del Zotto are all fit and able. With Anton Stralman a solid depth option it leaves a whole raft of ifs and buts to scrap it out for the 6th and 7th defensive spots. McIlrath will be fighting it out with Aaron Johnson, Danny Syvret, Justin Falk, John Moore and even the likes of Stu Bickel for a roster spot.

The problem here is not ability. John Moore aside, McIlrath has much more upside than any of the other options who are realistically in the frame for the top six. McIlrath needs game time. The Rangers top four will eat up the vast majority of ice time and given his lengthy absence last year the last thing the Rangers want to do to with McIlrath is curb – or stall – his development by offering up five or six minute cameos.

McIlrath probably needs to outperform the likes of Stralman and Del Zotto and not the depth guys if he is to make the Rangers. McIlrath will have to be an absolute force through camp and pre-season because merely being ‘ready’ isn’t going to be enough. If he is ready for a depth assignment he should be in Hartford. If he is ready for a significant role – which is unlikely at this stage – then he could factor into the Rangers. McIlrath needs twenty minutes a night.

As is often the case with players of his style and size, patience is required even if it feels like the wait has been forever. If it means the Rangers receive a dominant, intimidating presence for the next half a decade, a full season knocking players over in the minor leagues is the right course action for Dylan McIlrath.

18 Responses to “Is there space for McIlrath?”

  1. Walt says:

    Chris

    Agree with most of what you say, but this kid will get his shot sometime mid season, after the coaching staff sees what he can do in the AHL. I’d bet we see McIlrath sometime in last Jan, early Feb, and they will work him into the team somehow! He will be our 6th d-man, along side of Moore, who is too good to send down to the Wolf Pack!!

    • Centerman21 says:

      He doesn’t skate like an NHL player yet. I doubt that he sees much NHL time this season. He may get a few games to give a regular a spell and get him a look at the speed increase at the NHL level but until the playoffs start he belongs playing 20 mins a night in Hartford. If he plays for the Rangers he’s not going to get that. That is what the writer is saying so you don’t agree with him at all.

      • Walt says:

        Please don’t put words in my mouth. If you read the post, I said I’d bet we would see him mid season. You have a tendency to be criticle of everyone, so just shove it where the sun doesn’t shine. Thank you A– hole!

  2. WilliamW says:

    Would be great if he could spend the whole season in the AHL since that would mean the current top 6 are all healthy and playing well

    As we know, that’s not likely to be the case so I think he’s competing with Johnson to be the first injury call-up and a major part of the depth that was missing last year

  3. AD says:

    John Moore is a very good, bottom 6 pairing for McIlrath and, when he is playing well, is also good competition for Del Zotto, especially on the power play.

    We will all see McIlrath wear Ranger blue soon enough; his style of play has been sorely missed ever since Sauer went down with his injury.

    I think Del Zotto is slowly but gradually being marginalized within our top 6 and has to show good progress in his game or risk being traded, in my view.

    • Easyguy says:

      Delzotto is not IMO top 5 he’s competing for that six role av won’t use him like torts did and you will see his ice time cut back to 10-15 mins a game but if they want Stepan then the logical choice is trade delzottos 2.5 and let stralman and Moore who both make 1.7 stay and flourish with ice time they deserve

      • Centerman21 says:

        You have no idea what you’re talking about. You should go outside your house and step in dog turd! That is pretty foolish. An offensive coach is coming in to cut the only puck moving defenseman in the entire organization. Torts cut his PP time down last season and it will go back up with AV at the helm. You are way off with your opinion. Opinions are like an elbow, everyone has one and you’re no different. Just wrong.
        You are a little mis guided in the Stepan situation as well. The Rangers have about 4 mil in Cap space to work with in signing Stepan. They also have a 7.5% bonus cushion all teams are given free of cap charge. With the 64.3 mil cap that’s another 4.822 mil in easily attainable bonuses they can include in a contract for Stepan. Try reading the new CBA before you balance a multi million dollar business. You have no clue. Sather has between
        6 and 8 million to offer Stepan a contract.

  4. Bloomer says:

    Del-Zotto still remains the Rangers best offensive defenceman, McIIrath isn’t capable of running a PP in Hartford doubt he could do so in the NHL. McIIrath will be brought up on a need to be basis and will have to prove he belong in the big league. The Ranger cap space wouldn’t be a issue had Sather bought out Richard, there would of been enough space to sign Stephan, Cally, Giradi and Lunquist and still have room to bring up McIIrath and Miller. As I have said in previous posts, its time for Sather to be put out to pasture.

  5. Mark says:

    I think three years is enough to wait. Scott Stevens never played a game in the minors and he played a tough, defensive style. Now i know that Scott was the exception, however, if Dylan is not better than the 4 or 5 players mentioned for the spot available than perhaps this is another bust draft pick. Its not like there is a surplus of toughness on this team and this guy fits the bill. If he is not mobile enough now when will he be? Or is it just a case where the light bulb needs to suddenly go on? I am rooting for him to be on the team..

    • Easyguy says:

      No he’s not lol Moore stralman mcdonagh girardi all better shooters and puck movers and are smarter faster players delzottos terrible turnover machine needs to go by by

      • Centerman21 says:

        You have no clue about the game of hockey or how a young player is developed. You should just stop commenting!

  6. Easyguy says:

    Delzotto isn’t a top 4 defender buddy he’s actually 6 with Moore and stralman both better and cheaper and stralman played top 4 mins before staals eye injury then delzaster was forced into that role and was horrible

  7. Frank Cerbone says:

    Quit demonizing MDZ.
    As this website has stated statisticly in an earlier post, MDZ is one of the top 5 on 5 defensemen in the NHL.

    MDZ, regardless of whether he is playing right or left side, played as per your earlier post, the same type of protected/unprotected minutes that Staal did last season.

    MDZ played last season with partners you would never pair with Staal, ie. Bickel, Gilroy, Eminger.

    Moore played the most protected minutes last season, as per your own post, followed by Stralman.

    Only an idiot would believe our new coach with Dorsett, who never wins a fight, as our policeman.

    This coming season some kind of combination of McIlrath, Haley,and Mashinter will make the team.

    Halewy is only 5-10 and would absolutely destroy a Dorsett in a fight.

  8. Bloomer says:

    Right on Frank, MDZ is a very gifted hockey player and it boggles my mind why he is a lighting rod for criticism by fans. Go ahead and trade and watch him light up the lamp for another team, just like the Ranger organization has done in the past with Amonte, Savard, Middleton and others. Good grief.

  9. Stevo says:

    I’m surprised that nobody has mentioned this yet, McIlrath would do well to spend some time under the wing of Beukeboom this season in Hartford.