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04-11-2013, 01:31 AM
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Originally Posted by NYR Sting View Post
I haven't watched much Whale this season, so what we've been hearing from you, Beacon, and others is very encouraging. You nailed the analysis of him, pre-Connecticut. I watched a ton of McIlrath when he was in Moose Jaw, and he did none of these things well. He had no concept of positional defense, and he was a really poor decision maker in multiple types of situation. He looked like he had very little idea about how to play hockey at a high level. This sounds like a very rapid and remarkable turnaround.

The one thing that is still in the back of my mind, however, is that many of the same things were being said about Kreider his last couple of NCAA seasons. Granted, the AHL and NCAA is a big difference. But once Kreider got here, he wasn't nearly as ready as some thought he would be. I think he still needs a decent amount of time in Hartford before he is a regular member of the Rangers, based on what I've seen this season.

Really hope that McIlrath keeps improving, because the Rangers need to trade Girardi to improve the offense, and McIlrath will make doing that easier. Even if he does turn out as good as advertised, it won't change my mind about that pick. This franchise sorely lacks a Tarasenko-like player in the prospect pool, and that type of talent is more valuable, especially for this team.
I've seen some of him in Moose and some in HFD, and I definitely more or less agree with you (you could of course always debate how much he sucked at something, or just wasn't very good at it for a 10th overall pick).

But, I don't think it's a turnaround as much as it is a change of mindset when going from WHL/Traverse to AHL/Camp. Because as I am sure many remember, the exact same transformation happened when McI went from Traverse (where he just struggled) to NYR camp.

Because when McI just backs down and plays a Jeff Beukeboom or 6th D role, he gets by. He got by in preseason last year against NHLers. It's when he tries to be a different player, not only better but different than say a Noraue/Klassen, he becomes a very big body on the ice who struggles to be where he should be.

I definitely think he is improving his game in HFD. But in terms of becoming that 6th D/Beukeboom type he is close, not in terms of that other player.

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