Rangers draft McIlrath at No. 10 overall
WHL defenseman was considered among draft’s hardest hitting players
Friday, 06.25.2010 / 8:38 PM / 2010 NHL Entry Draft
New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has selected defenseman Dylan McIlrath with the 10th overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
“We feel very fortunate to be able to select Dylan and add a player of his caliber to our strong core of prospects,” stated Sather. “He brings size and a physical presence along with good mobility and outstanding character. We’ve watched him improve throughout the year and are looking forward to his continued development.”
McIlrath, 18, skated in 65 games with the Moose Jaw Warriors of the Western Hockey League (WHL) this season, registering seven goals and 17 assists for 24 points, along with 169 penalty minutes. He received Moose Jaw’s Most Improved Player Award for the second consecutive season, establishing career-highs in games played, goals, assists, points, penalty minutes, plus/minus rating (plus-20) and game-winning goals (two).
McIlrath ranked second on Moose Jaw with a plus-20 rating, and tied for third among team defensemen in goals, assists and points. He also led the Warriors and ranked seventh in the league in penalty minutes.
The Winnipeg, Manitoba native was selected to participate in the 2010 Canadian Hockey League (CHL) Top Prospects Game on January 20 as a member of Team Orr, and he finished second in the Hardest Shot event at the Skills Competition with a 91.8 mph shot. The second-year defenseman made a plus-42 improvement in plus/minus rating over the previous season. McIlrath finished the season strong, tallying 16 points (five goals and 11 assists) in 29 games after the New Year.
He registered four multi-point performances during the season, including a career-high, three-point effort on February 15 at Portland (one goal and two assists). In addition, McIlrath registered one assist and 21 penalty minutes in seven playoff contests, making his WHL playoff debut on March 18 at Calgary and tallying his first career playoff point with an assist on March 23 vs. Calgary.
The 6-4, 212-pounder has appeared in 118 career WHL games over two seasons with Moose Jaw, registering eight goals and 20 assists for 28 points, along with 271 penalty minutes. McIlrath entered the 2010 NHL Entry Draft as the sixth-highest ranked defenseman and 17th overall among North American skaters in the final Central Scouting Rankings.
The selection marked the fourth time in the last six years the Rangers have chosen a defenseman in the first round. Two years ago, New York used their first selection (20th overall) to tab defenseman Michael Del Zotto, after selecting defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti with the 21st overall pick in 2006 and defenseman Marc Staal with the 12th overall selection in 2005.