What Alain Vigneault said about Dylan McIlrath and his spot

Mcilrath2On Friday, Alain Vigneault was asked about Dylan McIlrath and said that he “really progressed” from last year to this year.

He said that you want players to “force your hand” and that while Raphael Diaz “did everything we expected,” the organization felt that “Dylan deserved to start here.”

Vigneault said that right now McIlrath starts as the Rangers 7th defenseman but “that doesn’t mean that down the road he can’t be one of the top six. It depends on how he performs and how other guys perform.”



What Dylan McIlrath said about making the Rangers to start the season

Mcilrath1Dylan McIlrath said today that he is “really excited” to start the season with the Rangers and added that it’s been a “pretty long road” for him to get here. (NYR)

McIlrath said that it’s even more gratifying for him to get to this point after having “faced some adversity.” (NYR)

He said that while he “couldn’t be happier” his work doesn’t stop now and that it’s “just starting.”  (NYR)

For everything on McIlrath since the Rangers drafted him, click HERE.

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Raphael Diaz and Jayson Megna placed on waivers/Dylan McIlrath wins 7th D job

Mcilrath211:01AM: Sam Rosen confirms on MSG that Megna and Diaz are on waivers and that the Rangers roster is now at 23 players.

The Rangers current roster of 23 players puts them at $150,500 under the salary cap. (Hockey’s Cap)

10:57AM: The Rangers have placed defenseman Raphael Diaz and forward Jayson Megna on waivers. (Gross)

This indicates that Dylan McIlrath will start the season as the Rangers 7th defenseman.

Diaz and Megna can be sent to Hartford if they clear waivers.


The potential impact of carrying Dylan McIlrath on the roster

Mcilrath1Alain Vigneault said that the decision the Rangers make on defense could impact the forwards the Rangers carry this season. (NY Post)

Larry Brooks says that carrying Dylan McIlrath would alleviate the Rangers need to carry Tanner Glass as a physical presence. (NY Post)

Brooks says that for McIlrath to fill Glass’ role he would need to be in the lineup even though the job McIlrath is likely to win is as the seventh defenseman.  (NY Post)

He says that carrying McIlrath would mean that one of Dan Girardi, Kevin Klein or Dan Boyle would need to sit on occasion. Brooks likens the possible situation to how San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovih rests some of his veterans through the course of the season to prolong their health for the playoffs. (NY Post)

Brooks says that Dan Girardi, in an effort to keep him fresh, would need to sit at times “no matter that he hates the idea” and that if Dan Boyle isn’t “demonstrably” better than he was last season, “there won’t be any worries about getting McIlrath into the lineup.” (NY Post)


The game that Dylan McIlrath had last night for the Rangers

Mcilrath2Dylan McIlrath played 16:21, 1 shot on goal, 1 shot that missed the net, 5 hits and two giveaways.

McIlrath also fought Tyler Randell and was called for charging on Zac Rinaldo.

By period, McIlrath played 6:06 in the first, 3:55 in the second and 6:20 in the third.

Larry Brooks writes that it seems like McIlrath has a “commanding edge” on Diaz for the 7th spot. (NY Post)

Brooks said that last night McIlrath was “steady” and fought Randell after he went near Henrik Lundqvist and was called for goalie interference. (NY Post)

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How Dylan McIlrath played last night and if he has the inside track at the 7th spot

Dylan McIlrath1Last night against the Flyers Dylan McIlrath played 15:38, had one shot on goal, two shots that were blocked, 4 hits and 1 blocked shot.

McIlrath played 5:25 in the first, 6:28 in the second and only 3:45 in the third. He saw 13:35 at 5 on 5, while skating 9:41 with Keith Yandle, and 2:03 on the PK.

Larry Brooks says that McIlrath “seems to be ahead” of Diaz in the Rangers battle for the seventh defensemen. (NY Post)

Brooks notes that McIlrath’s presence in the lineup could also bring the physical element that Tanner Glass does. (NY Post)

On how McIlrath has been, Alain Vigneault said, “he has played well. The last two periods of the Jersey game and tonight he has been very dependable on the ice. He has made some smart plays with the puck and it’s good to see.”

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How Dylan McIlrath played for the Rangers last night

Dylan McIlrathDylan McIlrath played 19:06 last night for the Rangers, was a plus one, had 1 shot on goal, 1 shot attempt blocked, 3 hits and two blocked shots.

McIlrath played 5:52 in the first, 6:38 in the second and 6:36 in the third.

He played 15:22 at even strength and 3:44 on the PK.

While McIlrath was on the ice at 5 on 5 last night, the Rangers had 7 shot attempts for and 10 against. (Natural Stat Trick)

For more on McIlrath in the preseason, click HERE, HERE, and HERE.

After the game, Alain Vigneault said, “I thought he had a good game. His second and third were better than the first and he had the great scoring chance in the OT. Another young player who is trying to prove that he can play in this league.”

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