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Dylan McIlrath


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I am just now noticing this guy who was recently given a chance to play regular minutes for the Blueshirts.


Anyone else know much about him from watching him play in Jrs and in the AHL?


This was what I was able to get from hockeysfuture:



Under 'talent analysis', it says he is a nasty, in-your-face type, good shot, puck distribution good but needs a bit more improvement, and skating needs a bit of improvement as well.


Well, from the little I have seen, his skating seems fine enough, he definitely is in-your-face, haven't seen much of the shot, but also, something not mentioned in that hockeysfuture take was that he actually seems like a SMART defenseman.


When I first saw him drop the gloves against Matt Belesky in the game between the Rangers and Bruins, I thought, "Oh great, yet another goon who won't last long in the NHL".


But he seems to be a bit more than that.

Yes, the guy fights, he racks up the penalty minutes, but he is awfully tough on forwards entering his zone as well, finishing checks and just making the opposition work for every inch of ice they get.


Along with his rugged play, he also seems to play things cleanly, and seems to know when to let up and not go overboard with hits that the league may want to look at.


Granted...this is all small samples.

But if the Rangers can continue to get this kind of play from him and other teams see that it is a component that works well for the team, they may try to find their own "Goon/defensman hybrid" that can actually play hockey as well.


Who knows.

Maybe I am overrating this guy too soon, but maybe the Rangers are on to something with this guy.


Just not very many large, aggressive defenseman who can skate and play hockey (and use their brains!) in the league today.

Certainly the actualy skill of the best blueliners in the league has gotten better, but if done right, I think there is always a place for a guy like McIlrath who can play and harken back to the days of the 'big nasty defenseman'.


Anyone know a bit more about him?

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Well he certainly hits well. We probably owe him a thank you for knocking Schultz out of the game. I did not really notice much of his play other than that. The hit was a hard check(IMO a good one) but because he took out Schultz, Schenn when straight after him. Even though it was a legal check, in this case I was happy to see Schenn stand up for his partner. It certainly seemed to help keep the entire team focused on that game as well.

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The nicest thing about him is the low number of chances of Scoring Chances Against per 60 minutes. So far so good.


Well, @JR Ewing , you are the site stat-man, and I will be honest, I have not looked very deep into the advanced stuff on him, however, just going by the eye test, he does seem smarter than your typical rugged defenseman when it comes to coverage.


So perhaps that is why to this point his scoring chances against are low.


Again, all small samples right now, but I've seen players of his ilk come around before, and they are usually hitting machines with little else to offer.

He just seems like he can do a bit more.


If he is successful in say, five or six more seasons from now, he may usher in an era where teams will actively seek out the 'large, tough, smart defenseman'.


We've all seen evolutions (or de-evolutions...depending on your POV) of strategies and players over the years, maybe he can represent a new kind of rugged defenseman for today's skill-first NHL.

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