While at prospect development camp, Dylan McIlrath talked about accepting wherever he spends next season and working hard to become a better player.
Gordie Clark said at Ranger Rants that the likely scenario is that McIlrath spends the year in Hartford, not because of his defense, but so he can acclimate to dealing with veteran fighters:
“It looks like that would probably be (the case). It’s not so much his ability as to how he plays D. It’s about the kind of job, what part of his job he is taking on. Guys 26, 29 years old, they’re trained to fight, they scrap all these years. He’s 19 turning 20, that’s why we have to be careful. We have enough experience losing guys because they were put in too soon. I do think our D on our right side are going to be surprised how he’s going to push them.”
In the Daily News, McIlrath said he knows how he has to play to be successful “Hardnosed, physical, simple. That’s how I’ll have success. I’ll always work to become a better skater or better with the puck, but that’s how I’ll have success. It’s just my style. Not everyone is willing to do some of the things – get in fights, block shots. But I know it’s going to take a lot of hard work. There will be a lot of competition.”
McIlrath has surgery for a dislocated knee cap that he suffered during development camp.
Adam Rotter: The Rangers are very high on McIlrath and are willing to let him take his time to develop into the physical shutdown defenseman that they hope they drafted. Jeff Beukeboom will definitely help him with the Whale as he takes his next step in his development.