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2011-2012 Connecticut Whale/Greenville Road Warriors Thread (AHL, ECHL) *Part III*
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05-09-2012, 09:09 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Originally Posted by
I've not seen HFD play this season, but I want to add one thing about McIlrath. That's an aspect that is a curse for 1st round picks.
The kid was 19 y/o when he joined HFD (he just turned 20 in may). Dan Girardi at the age of 19-20 was not ready for the AHL. Girardi did not make HFD out of camp when being 21.5 y/o, he started that season in the ECHL. Carl Hagelin or Ryan Callahan was not ready for the AHL at that age. Nobody expected them to be ready. Mike Sauer had a very small role as a rookie in the AHL being 20-21 y/o. Add 2-4 years to McI's current age, and Girardi, Hagelin, Callahan, Sauer and co started to contribute in the NHL. And had McI been a 2nd round pick, I am 100% sure it would have been perfectly natrual for him to get those 2-4 years with zero pressure on them.
Now he is under the microscope from day 1.
Our team is doing really well, and that's great for him. Like he is not "needed", unlike say a Jamie Lundmark or Bobby S.
But its still ESSENTIAL that McI is able to concentrate and really work towards taking one step at the time in his development. I mean, Dan G probably felt great about himself when he had an "ok" first camp, got a spot in the AHL after only 7 games in the ECHL. Then he probably felt great after having a strong camp the year after that in NY, despite not making the NHL, and then just getting a chance to play some in the NHL was probably tremendous for him. Its like, a player with reasonable expectations on themselves who can take one step at the time and feel great about every small step they can take -- develop well. But a 1st rounder who is slightly seen as a dissapointment even for not being ready as a 18-19 y/o, often seem to struggle at just improving on a yearly basis. Sometimes its one step forward and two step backwards. Because overall, I think McI looks pretty darn interesting. Huge. Good natrual open ice hitter. Decent skater and decent hands. If he is ready for the AHL next year, and can become a strong 4th-5th D at that level the year after that -- the step to the NHL as a solid NHL D, with some tremendous intanglibles, isn't that far away at all.
This is a huge argument from a sports psychology point of view when looking at NHL draft picks and trying to determine why those who succeed do, and those who don't, do not.
McIlrath is going to be fine for the reason bolded. It's the reason Kreider was pushed for and wasn't given much time. He was needed.
McIlrath can develop like a mid-round pick. Maybe not on the 2003-2004 team with Leetch, Malakhov, Poti, deVries, Mironov, and Kasparaitis. But there is no reason we can't get close to a finished product with McIlrath in two years or so having Girardi, McD, Staal, and DZ in the fold. The fact that we have depth with Erixon already ahead of him means so much to his development.
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