Career Rangers/NHL stats: No games plaed
McIlrath figures to give the Rangers a tough-nosed defenseman. He has played in the WHL for most of his minor league career, and may still be some time away from an NHL debut.
Photo Credit: AP
GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- The Madison Square Garden transformation is a big deal, but so is this one: the evolution of Rangers prospect Dylan McIlrath.
Last June, right after he was selected 10th overall in the NHL draft, the 6-4, 214-pound defenseman appeared raw and out of sync with the prospects in camp. "Nerve-racking" is how he described it. No more.
Yesterday, leaner and faster and confident, the 19-year-old McIlrath scored and added an assist in the first scrimmage of development camp.
After the combine in Toronto and arriving in New York from Los Angeles after the draft last year, McIlrath said he "never got in a really good routine, and it was really a shock to see what they expect from you. Knowing that before this camp really helped me, I feel a lot more comfortable."
He credited the conditioning routine at home in Winnipeg for his readiness.
"I thought I tested really well on the first day, but I'm working on my strength," he said. "The role I play is to lay the body out, so I have to add muscle, I need to be a bigger guy."
McIlrath, who scored five goals and 22 points and racked up 153 penalty minutes in 62 games in Moose Jaw, called the weeklong camp "a learning curve," seeking advice from coaches and trainers.
"Adam Graves took me aside and gave me a few pointers on positioning after the scrimmage," he said. "I can take that home to work on, and get ready for training camp, Traverse City, and the main camp. That's my main goal, to impress them there."
McIlrath likely will remain in juniors this season; he's too young for the AHL. But he'll push hard in Winnipeg. "I'll train with [the Islanders'] Travis Hamonic," he said. "We played junior together, we live five minutes away, we'll drive each other to the facility. He really trains hard, it's a great mentor to have."
Drury not on waivers
Chris Drury was not placed on waivers Tuesday, but that may not deter a buyout by Friday. According to the collective bargaining agreement, if a club wants to buy out a player with a no-move clause, such as Drury, he must be notified 24 hours before being placed on waivers, and has the choice to reject them.
So Drury, who has a $7-million cap hit in 2011-12, might not be waived at all, and a buyout could proceed. The center's agent did not respond to emails asking to clarify the situation; the Rangers did not comment.
Swedish forward Jesper Fasth scored twice and had an assist in Team White's 8-3 scrimmage win over the Blue.