Dylan McIlrath with their first round pick (10th overall). McIlrath was projected to go in the lower half of the first round but according to Rangers' Director of Player Personnel Gordie Clark the Rangers "have been tracking McIlrath's rise since December and have known for a while that he was their man."
Many Rangers fans are not happy with the selection but it's way too early to determine if this was a mistake. Should the Rangers have drafted the best player available? Should the Rangers have traded down to draft McIlrath later in the first round, since it was likely he'd still be available? Possibly, but they didn't. As a result, Rangers fans everywhere are left to hope that McIlrath turns out to be all that the Rangers hope that he can be. He's known as a physical, punishing defenseman who is not afraid to drop his gloves. I for one say it's about friggin time we got a few of those guys in our lineup. The last time the Rangers had a legitimate crease clearer, was a long time ago, hopefully McIlrath can remind us of the good 'ol Beukeboom days.
What they are saying about him:
Director of NHL Central Scouting, E.J. McGuire
“Big and mean, old-time typical NHL defenseman. He scares people not only with some frequent fights he might get in, but with 6-4, 212 lbs. straight ahead speed and offensive ability to match. Often, and in a very complimentary sense, makes puck carriers cut to the other side of the ice with his intimidating size.”
Moose Jaw Warriors head coach Dave Hunchak
“An old school defensemen who plays hard and very physical. A great deal of untapped potential that can be used in shut down situations as well as on the offensive side of the puck.”
Moose Jaw Warriors radio broadcaster James Gallo
“17-year-old Dylan Mcilrath’s large frame casts a shadow that many NHL scouts and opposing teams have taken notice of. His strong defense and punishing physical play has turned him into a fan favourite at the Civic Center.”