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05-09-2012, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Jarkko Immonen View Post
McIlrath has looked okay for being so new and playing a big role as Wade Redden's partner on defense. He surprisingly (to me at least) jumps into the play A LOT. On the one Norfolk goal tonight he kind of got caught trying to make an aggressive play and the Admiral player beat the remaining defenseman up the sideboards to snipe it past Talbot. He's learning but he looks good. He hits guys and knows what he's doing out there. Just needs to relax in some situations.
Yeah, that's his style and its important to remember it.

Its good for the future, but easy to forget these days early in his career. For good and bad he is definitely not the natrual stay at home D that people, rightfully, expects him to become.

In the WHL, he kind of has the role of say Victor Hedman in Tampa in the NHL. IE, he is kind of raw, but still a good skater who with a combination of that and his size and decent abilities play a bigger role. Joins the play alot and tries to be involved offensively. But still very far from say a Hall Gill/Adam Foote super prototype of a stay at home D. That suprise me too when I first saw him, but its important to remember that this is his "natrual style" and it effects his transition to diffrent levels.

When he for example plays at a tournament like Traverse at a pretty decent talent level, people will be dissapointed with him because he can't step in and be that big role stay at home D people expects, and he isn't as talented that he can dominate 2-ways on that alone, and playing a stay-at-home-d role isn't his natrual role so he won't be 100% comfortable in that either. While when he get a minor role in a NHL pre-season game, he still got strength infront of the net and in the corners and size/reach that will stick out anywhere, and especially when playing just to survive he can do fairly well.

I like McI and I think he will become a very valuble player for us. He just needs to keep developing and learning the core of the D-role for a couple of years. But like you say he hits alot, and that's because he can hit. Size makes you hit harder, but it hurts you when you try to land a hit. Many casual fans miss that. Its hard to land a hit at the pro-level. But McI is very good at it. Good lateral movement and good natrual timing instincts. We got a dude 6'5 who is strong like a bull and who can drop em. Sure, he can be somewhat clueless around his own net, and is raw defensively in many areas -- but he can also land big open ice hits. He is great at clearing the crease when he is in the right position. It hurts playing against him. Why won't this kid make it in a couple of years?

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