New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has agreed to terms with defenseman Dylan McIlrath.
McIlrath, 18, has skated in 59 games with the Moose Jaw Warriors of the Western Hockey League (WHL) this season, registering five goals and 18 assists for 23 points, along with 141 penalty minutes. He ranks third among team defensemen in points, goals and power play goals (two), and ranks third on Moose Jaw in penalty minutes. McIlrath established a career-high with his 18th assist of the season in a 5-3 win vs. Regina on March 1.
Defenseman Dylan McIlrath, the Rangers' 2010 first-round draft pick, got his initial taste of the Madison Square Garden Training Center at last year's Development Camp for Blueshirts prospects.
He has also tied his career-high with four multi-point performances this season, including back-to-back two-assist efforts on January 19 vs. Lethbridge and January 21 at Edmonton. McIlrath recorded at least one point in six of eight games from October 13 vs. Kootenay to November 5 at Regina, registering seven points (two goals, five assists) during the stretch.
In addition, he posted a career-high, four-game point streak from December 14 vs. Saskatoon to December 28 at Calgary, tallying five points (one goal, four assists) over the span.
Last season, McIlrath received Moose Jaw’s Most Improved Player Award for the second consecutive season, establishing career-highs in games played (65), goals (seven), points (24), penalty minutes (169), plus/minus rating (plus-20), and game-winning goals (two). He ranked second on Moose Jaw with a plus-20 rating, having made a plus-42 improvement in plus/minus rating over the previous season. He also tied for third among team defensemen in goals, assists and points, and led the Warriors and ranked seventh in the league in penalty minutes.
The second-year defenseman 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. 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 6-5, 215-pounder has appeared in 177 career WHL games over three seasons with Moose Jaw, registering 13 goals and 38 assists for 51 points, along with 412 penalty minutes. McIlrath captured Moose Jaw’s Most Improved Player Award following his rookie season in 2008-09. He made his WHL debut on September 19, 2008 vs. Swift Current, and registered his first career point with a goal on January 10, 2009 at Saskatoon. McIlrath has also tallied one assist and 21 penalty minutes in seven career playoff games with Moose Jaw.
The Winnipeg, Manitoba native was originally selected as the Rangers first round choice, 10th overall, in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)