How far will the Rangers get this season?

Scouting Report: Dylan McIlrath

Dylan McIlrath (via

Dylan McIlrath (via

Who are the next prospects that could join Derek Stepan, Ryan McDonagh and the rest of the young Rangers on Broadway?

Blueshirt Bulletin will be tracking the progress of the next wave of youngsters as they compete and develop this season in the Canadian junior leagues, college and abroad.

Below is a compilation of scouting reports, buzz and analysis by scouts and hockey experts on Dylan McIlrath. 

We’ll update this as the season unfolds with the latest news at the very bottom of this post.


Dylan McIlrath

Drafted: 2010 – 1st round (10th overall)

HT: 6-5

WT: 215

Pos: D

Shoots: R

Birthday: 4/20/92

Team: Connecticut Whale, AHL

2009-2010 stats: 7g, 17a, 65gp, 169PIM, +20 (with Moose Jaw Warriors, WHL)

2010-2011 stats: 5g, 18a, 62gp, 153PIM, +0 (with Moose Jaw Warriors, WHL)

                                         0g, 0a, 2gp, 7 PIM, -1 (with Connecticut Whale, AHL)

2010-2011 playoffs: 0g, 0a, 6gp, 15PIM (with Moose Jaw Warriors, WHL) profile >


Highlight Reel >  


Scouting report entering the season from Blueshirt Bulletin staff writer and author of The Prospect Park, Jess Rubenstein:

“I put him here because every year since Jeff Beukeboom was forced to retire, I have called for a defensive stopper. Here he is and Jeff Beukeboom would give his approval… Do not even think you can touch a McIlrath teammate as he will be on you in a second. Have watched teams think twice about taking the body when McIlrath was out there… And we saved the best for last as since the middle of last season, McIlrath as been working on his shot. It is a heavy almost dangerous shot that is going to either create rebounds or injure anyone trying to block his shot.” (9/28/11)


What They’re Saying:

Elite Prospects – “A large and physical defenseman. Positions himself men. Not a very good skater. Has a good shot from the blue line. Needs to improve his skating.” – “Is as tough as they come from the back end. Has tremendous shutdown potential and is at his best when he stays at home.” 

The Hockey News Draft Preview – [Ranked 26th among 2010 NHL draft prospects] “’He has a cannon from the point and a good wrist shot,’ the scout said. ‘I don’t think he had any points before Christmas, then finished with 24. His foot speed and puck skills have to improve, but if he continues to grow, he could be a pretty good package.’ His toughness sets him apart.” (Spring 2010)

The Scouting Report – [Ranked 24th among 2010 NHL draft prospects] “The first thing that grabs your attention about Dylan McIlrath is his sheer size. At 6’5 and 215 pounds, there aren’t many players in the WHL that can outmatch him physically. McIlrath has showed a deft ability to drop the gloves, even trading blows with Red Deer bruiser Alex Petrovic in the Top Prospects game. A nice throwback to WHL defencemen of old, McIlrath is not the greatest skater in the world, but instead he makes up for his lack of acceleration by being positionally sound and using his massive frame to separate players from the puck. Most players will probably avoid the front of the net when playing the Warriors, unless they want to find themselves face-to-face with McIlrath, who is going to win the physical battle the majority of the time. He is a classic warrior, and the type of player that coaches love to have on their side – and hate to play against.” (6/1/2010)

Bruins 2010 Draft Watch – “Big, wide body with room for another 20-30 pounds when he's at his physical peak. Very good upper body strength; uses it to staple wingers along the boards or to stand in and give/absorb punches while fighting. Biggest wingspan of any player in the 2010 draft class with an 83-inch reach; allows him to effectively employ a pokecheck on defense, and also comes in very handy when fighting; he ragdolls opponents and keeps them at arm's length while pounding them. Straight-line speed is above average; can get up the ice well once he gets going. A feared open-ice hitter; reads the play well and anticipates where an opponent will be, then lowers the boom. Very good defensive sense- understands his positioning and clears the crease with abandon. Loves the physical aspect of hockey; wants to go out and punish opponents, yet doesn't run around the ice out of control...exhibits measured aggression. Possesses a cannon for a point shot; takes a while on the windup, but the drive is low, heavy and deflectable…Very good character and work ethic; highly respected in the dressing room-- a leader. Nasty disposition on the ice, calm and laid-back off it.” (6/15/2010)

Hockey’s Future – “For NHL teams looking to stock the cupboard with a hulking, physical defensemen, Dylan McIlrath will fit the bill. McIlrath covers the ice well for a big player, but will have to continue to improve his mobility. His long reach can keep attackers at bay and his penchant for nastiness in his own end can help goaltenders to see the puck well.” (9/16/2010)

TSN Canada – “The tenth overall pick in last summer's draft, Dylan McIlrath is a big, nasty defenceman, who hasn't shown much offensively, but has scrapped 32 times in the last two seasons. His toughness will pave his way to the Rangers' lineup, but he can continue to improve the other facets of his game.” (6/2/2011) – “McIlrath, now 19, is huge, but dwelling on only one aspect of his game would overlook the entire package McIllrath hopes to bring to the NHL. One of the things that impressed scouts most about him in his draft year was a set of rapidly developing offensive skills that made him a mainstay of Moose Jaw's power play. He went from scoring just four points as a rookie to 24 in his draft year, and the bulk of them came in the season’s second half.”

“At Traverse City, McIlrath got a taste of the jump he faces in moving from major-junior hockey to the pro game. The Blueshirts didn't hesitate to throw him into the heat of battle, as he was placed on the top defense pairing with Ryan McDonagh, who became an NHL regular just a few months later. McIlrath was a plus-4 in four tournament games and skated regularly on both the power play and penalty-killing units. Clark called the McDonagh-McIlrath combination the tournaments' "best pair and McIlrath seemed to improve with every shift.”

“The 2011 Future Watch rates him the Rangers' No. 2 prospect behind Chris Kreider.  McIlrath also joins Kreider in the ranking of the world's top 75 prospects, coming in at No. 50. An article in the issue referrs to him as a ‘classic diamond-in-the-rough’.” (6/15/2011)

Corey Pronman – [Ranks McIlrath 3rd among NYR prospects] “McIlrath is a tremendous physical package and easily projects to have an elite physical game at the highest level. He has a thin, muscular frame and NHL sources widely praise the level of strength and condition he is at for an Under-20 player. McIlrath is a feared physical player with a predator-like mentality in that if you're on his side of the rink, have the puck and are wearing an opposing jersey, for your own well-being you'd better keep your head up. NHL sources also praise the fact that McIlrath can play with such physicality but doesn't take poor penalties, and doesn't go out of his way to instigate. His skating has developed significantly from this point last year, as he's a notable skater now and is very mobile for a player his size. McIlrath moves freely once he gets in motion, can get up the ice well and closes his gaps effectively. He's a simple yet effective defensive player and that aspect of his game showed notable strides this year, especially from Christmas onwards as his defensive zone reads looked much better.” (8/9/2011)

The Hockey News Yearbook – [Ranks McIlrath 3rd among NYR prospects] “Physical player with a good point shot. Skating needs work.” (Summer 2011)



Corey Pronman - "One scout noted that McIlrath's puck-moving skills were showing subtle improvement since last year as he gets more coordinated within his frame. How far that aspect continues to improve over the next year will be significant for his NHL future. Right now, though, I'm skeptical about his offensive projection." (9/20/2011) 

The Province - "this 19-year-old from Winnipeg will bring dash, as in making opponents head for cover. The 6-foot-5, 215-pound right-handed shot remains one of the most feared customers in the league. He didn't make the jump offensively last year (62-5-18-23, even plus-minus, 153 PIMs) but you can bet everyone on the other team knew when he was on the ice. For those interested in such things -- we know that you are out there -- the 2007 third round bantam pick had 13 fights last year, down from 19 the season before." (9/22/2011)

Hockey's Future- "By making Dylan McIlrath the captain at this tournament, signing him early, and talking him up so much, its clear that the brass wants to give the signal that McIlrath will be a big part of the Rangers’ future. He may just be that, and if his “fight” earlier in the tournament is any indication, his pugilistic skills will be frightening. But he has a ways to go. McIlrath’s defensive play is probably two years from being NHL ready, and maybe more. Usually Traverse City captains don’t return to the following year’s tournament, but I think that McIlrath will be the exception." (9/11/2011)

Corey Pronman - (via Twitter) "Skating so much better than at draft year. Puck skills slightly better too." (11/15/2011)




Click here for our full Summer 2011 Archive >

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New York Rangers VS Chicago Blackhawks
Wednesday, October 7, 2015

  1 2 3 OT F
Rangers 3 0 0 - 3
Blackhawks 1 1 0 - 2

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