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04-05-2013, 09:43 AM
  #581
silverfish
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Alphabet Soup
Country: United States
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I have it on good authority, from someone who follows the Whale religiously, that McIlrath will never be more than a 5/6 fighting defenseman. I'd like to disagree, as me and this fellow generally disagree on many things regarding the Rangers, but I have no basis to stand on, I haven't seen McIlrath play in a very long time.

Judging by what I'm told, and what I read here, I think he'll be given a shot in camp next season to compete, but will ultimately start the season in the AHL. I think the 13/14 season will see McIlrath get a call up or two for a cup of coffee at the NHL level. It will be the 14/15 season that sees McIlrath inserted into the Rangers top-6 as an NHL regular.

If the above scenario plays out, that is VERY disappointing, IMHO, for a #1 pick. But, defensemen surely do take longer to progress than forwards, especially those that specialize in the stay-at-home game.

With the #10 pick in the 2010 draft, the Rangers filled an organizational need that was empty since Beuk left. I have full confidence in McIlrath becoming a mean SOB at the NHL level who doesn't let anyone get near Lundqvist, and if they try to, they'll pay the price.

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