Dylan McIlrath, D, 6’5″, 215 pounds
Date of birth: April 21, 1992
Previous team: Moose Jaw Warriors Western Hockey League (WHL)
Draft: 10th Overall, 2010 by the New York Rangers
Dylan McIlrath was drafted 46th overall in the 2007 Bantam Draft by the Moose Jaw Warriors in the Western Hockey League (WHL). While his numbers offensively are not very impressive, there is a certain number that stands out quite a bit. Three words. Penalty. In. Minutes. 527 PIMs in just 227 games. Pretty crazy, right? So what makes him so special you ask? He is big and he is mean. His nicknames are “The Undertaker” and “The Freight Train from Winnipeg”. Again, not gifted offensively he does have a great shot. He causes fear in opponents in a few ways. One way is his absurd amount of fights he gets into. 49 total fights in his WHL career. Not a bad way to intimidate someone, right? Not only that, his size scares players off in different directions, causing a melt down in offensive chances for the other team. Although he is doing this against younger players, the intimidation factor is still there. He is more than willing to clear the crease for the goaltender and I think players will think twice about running into Lundqvist while he’s on the ice. In the end though, don’t expect him to be ready for at least another season as he is having trouble translating to the NHL level.
Mcilrath played for Team Orr in the 2010 Canadian Hockey League (CHL) Top Prospects Game. McIlrath signed a entry-level contract on March 17, 2011 and began his career on the Hartford Wolfpack…err Connecticut Whale. The knock on Mcilrath was his skating ability coming out of the draft, but it has vastly improved since then. He still needs work on his overall game and there is still plenty of time. Thankfully he is around two guys that can help him out a lot – Ulf Samuelsson and Jeff Beukeboom – during camp and he can bring that back to his game where ever he ends up. There’s still time to improve before the season opens up, but sending him back down to the American Hockey League (AHL) may be in the best interests for him as a developing player. Other than that, he can sure destroy players when hitting and sticks up for his team. Time will tell what happens next.
“The tenth overall pick in last summer’s draft, Dylan McIlrath is a big, nasty defenceman, who hasn’t shown much offensively, but has scrapped 32 times in the last two seasons. His toughness will pave his way to the Rangers’ lineup, but he can continue to improve the other facets of his game.” – TSN Canada
“One scout noted that McIlrath’s puck-moving skills were showing subtle improvement since last year as he gets more coordinated within his frame. How far that aspect continues to improve over the next year will be significant for his NHL future. Right now, though, I’m skeptical about his offensive projection.” Corey Progman ESPN