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01-13-2013, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by eco's bones View Post
Defensemen usually take longer than forwards to develop. The mistakes they make tend to be out there for all to see. As well missing almost the first 3 months of the year puts McIlrath behind other players as far as game conditioning. Just take a look at Staal last year coming back from the concussion--it took him almost to the playoffs to get back to where he was before. Have to be patient with DM. Beukeboom his defense coach took several years to finally get a permanent NHL job and we got a lot of mileage out of him.

Anyway the comments about his skating sound real good for us. That was a bit of a weakness a couple years ago.

If McIlrath makes the NHL in 12 months, he'll do it at exactly the same age as Beukeboom did.

Note that not only do defensemen take longer, but defensive defensemen in particular. There's nobody to cover for them. A forward of similar size and skating ability would've been in the NHL right now, contributing to the bottom-6. But you can't put McIlrath together with MDZ on the third pairing and expect Lundqvist not to go on strike.

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