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04-05-2013, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by silverfish View Post
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.
A few years ago a buddy of mine connected me with some pretty tuned in hockey guys who saw McIlrath on a regular basis. While they had very strong criticisms they were united in their opinion that the Rangers had made a very shrewd pick. The short take:

Extremely raw but an exceedingly rare combination of maturity, coachability, athleticism, agility, awesome strength, size and down right nastiness.

They geeked out on things like gap control and other scout like nomenclature that I get totally lost in and can't follow to save my skin. But their enthusiasm was easy to read. You don't grab yourself a ladder, go out to the back yard and pick a kid like this off the prospect tree. It does not happen often but if you have a chance to pick a kid like this you take it and smile. Because as one of them pointed out, if the Rangers want a Taresenko they can just go buy one. Few teams have that luxury. The Rangers do (see Nash, Richards, Gabby).

That is consistent with what people like Clark, Gorton and Buek have said right up till recently. I know they work for the org., but they are integrity guys who I trust.

That's all I got here.

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