And, just to add to what you are saying, I refer to the NHL Network series OilChange, where they had the Oiler head of scouting saying that there were seven potential impact players in the 2010 draft; he listed McIlrath as one of those seven players, and not Fowler.
McKeen's had him at 15.
Woodlief projected 8 d-men in the 1st round. McIlrath was 6th of 8, just ahead of Merril and Tinordi. Gormley was 1st.
People forget that Gormley, Gudbranson and Fowler were all projected top-10, maybe even top-5 since the Jackets and Isles had nothing on defense.
Mckenzie had McIlrath 23rd at his 2010 mid-season. He finished 15th pre-draft and was drafted 10th. Obviously a riser in everyone's eyes.
He also had Fowler 3rd at midseason, then rated him 5th for the final.
The Rangers drafted a rising item. Gormley and Fowler are not steals. They dropped for a reason, and two teams took a chance on them.
Besides, Tim Erixon has been called a Swedish Marc Staal. McIlrath, even by the small sample we saw in camp, looks like a meaner version of Sauer.
I'm glad we have two blue chip dman prospects to fall back on in the event of Staal and Sauer having career-shortening/threatening injuries