Read: The key year coming for Dylan McIlrath

GDylan McIlrathordie Clark says that this will be a “key year” for Dylan McIlrath after he has only played 107 games the past two seasons. (

Clark says that many of those games saw McIlrath sitting for stretches because “he had to fight everyone in the AHL” and that “he really has less than a year of experience.”(

The 2014 Hockey News Yearbook has McIlrath ranked as the Rangers 5th prospect and has him making the NHL in 2015-16.

Sports Forecaster lists McIlrath as a “can’t miss” prospect who will be NHL ready by the middle of this coming season. They say that he is a “shutdown specialist” who is almost ready to be a NHLer.

His expected arrival in the NHL is 2015-16 and another year in the AHL will “go a long way for him” as he continues to refine his game. (

McIlrath can be an “elite” physical player who has shown “good defensive value” and “decent” defensive reads. Corey Pronman says that McIlrath’s puck skills and skating are “below average” and that his injury history doesn’t help with that.  (ESPN Insider)

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Read: Dylan McIlrath progress and where he needs to get better

Dylan McIlrath1Jeff Gorton said before the draft that the organization is excited about where Dylan McIlrath is going and think that he is getting better and better and could be with the team soon. (Rangers)

McIlrath played two games with the Rangers this season and averaged 7:01 per game.

Craig  Button said on SNY’s Rangers Blue Line podcast recently, “Dylan is a different player than Anton and he is more of a rough and tumble rugged player and he had a lot to learn coming into pro hockey. In junior hockey he was bigger and stronger and could intimidate and back people off with that size and physical presence and the NHL isn’t about that. People look at McIlrath sand say that he doesn’t skate very well so I will attack that. Dylan has had to really work at being a quicker player, a better fundamental player in terms of his positioning and when his positioning is good and people try to come at him and break him down, he is very hard to break down.”

McIilrath played top pairing minutes at 5 on 5 this season and while his game improved throughout the year, he needs to start “showing some dominance” in the defensive zone. He is the type of defenseman every NHL team needs and wants. (Dobber)

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Read: Dylan McIlrath, Conor Allen and when they will be ready

Dylan McIlrathDuring a chat with the Rangers website before the draft, Jeff Gorton and Gordie Clark were asked about where Dylan McIlrath and Conor Allen are in their development and whether they can help the Rangers soon.

Jeff Gorton said, You never know until you give them a chance. Sometimes the AHL is a harder league because things are more scrambly, things are slower, less hockey sense, things are one level down and it’s harder on the defense. I think that until we give them an opportunity and let them play 10-15 games, we won’t know that answer. We think that they are close and players who can play a few games when we need that and I think it will play itself out in the preseason. Hopefully they have great summers and start to push guys.” (Rangers)

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Read: Gordie Clark on the draft, prospect camp, the goalies and Brady Skjei

Gordie ClarkAt the start of prospect camp on Monday, Gordie Clark spoke with the Rangers website about some of the Rangers draft picks and prospects (Rangers):

  • On the draft, “we went in looking for a goalie. We have been looking the last 3-4 drafts and there haven’t been a lot of what we would call number one prospects, to be a number one goalie and I don’t take them unless they are number one. This was the year we thought that their were 4 or 5 and we took Halverson and we liked him where he was sitting at the end of the second round. Then Shestyorkin, two years ago at the under 18, as an underage, was outstanding and he had a great year in the league and my Russian guy followed him a lot, we went in and looked at him a lot, we think that he is a number one prospect and by the time we picked him, we look at who is left and there are some guys that you want to try but none were considered impact players at defense of forward and this guy we had listed as a number one goalie, I didn’t go in looking for two, but he was still sitting there and sometimes we take the best player available and Shestoyrkin was there.”

Clark also spoke about the draft on Saturday.

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Read: Dylan McIlrath Knows What He Needs To Work On/Organization has always preached patience

Dylan McIlrathIn two games with the Rangers earlier this season, Dylan McIlrath played 8:55 and 5:08 before being a healthy scratch and then sent to Hartford.

McIlrath told Ranger Rants that he understands being a scratch is part of the process and that looking at the game from the press box would provide a different vantage point and one that could help his game.

He added that he understands that his skating isn’t at the level of a John Moore or Ryan McDonagh and that having good positioning is going to have to be the key to his game.

He pointed to Dan Girardi is a player he could model his game after when it comes to positioning.

McIlrath said that the organization told him from day 1 that they were going to be patient with him and let him develop until he was ready to play full time. He said that the fans may get antsy with him in the minors but he feels comfortable knowing he has the support of the team. (Courant)

McIlrath said that the organization was pleased with how he was developing before he was called up. (Courant)

For more on McIlrath, CLICK HERE.