Following the end of the Connecticut Whale season, the Rangers called up players like Dylan McIlrath, JT Miller, Kris Newbury and Tim Erixon to act as a taxi squad for the Rangers in the playoffs.
At Blueshirts United Rangers assistant GM Jeff Gorton talked about why specifically, McIlrath and Miller were brought up:
You can’t duplicate what our players are going through now and to have them have this experience and share it with them and be in the building and see how the players respond and hopefully grasp it for the future, it’s hard to replace that kind of experience. They are two first round picks with big futures for us and it’s good for us and them to share this opportunity.
Both players played with the Whale in the playoffs and Gorton said that it will benefit both in the long run, “they get the pro experience, take the newness away, they know the coaches, we know them and I think it helps them moving forward.”
On McIlrath, Gorton said, “It’s hard to jump into a team that is jumping into the playoffs. In Dylan’s case, he is a physical guy and started pounding guys right away. He was very strong and steady in the second half and he looked pretty seamless moving to Hartford.”
He adds, “Dylan is going to be a pro, train hard like he always as and come to camp and try to make our team.”
On Miller, Gorton said that he played in the bottom six for the Whale and “JT will try to train all summer and try to make the NHL. I think he knows that we have a staff that likes young players. We like having all of our players go into the summer thinking they should be in the NHL.”