The New York Rangers have now lost three straight and have played back-to-back embarrassing games in a row, and unfortunately I was so lucky to witness the last one on Tuesday against the Nashville Predators in person. During these last couple of games, the Rangers have seriously lacked goal scoring (what else is new?) defense and effort, which is simply unacceptable.
So what did Rangers GM Glen Sather do for a response?
He called up the team’s first-round draft pick of 2010, defenseman Dylan McIlrath. McIlrath, who was extremely unimpressive in the preseason and really ever since the Rangers drafted him, will make his NHL debut against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night.
McIlrath’s skill set is of a tough physical defenseman at 6-foot-5, which this team seriously lacks and could definitely use. Unfortunately, he showed that he is not NHL-ready just a few months ago in the preseason as he was atrocious defensively and could not keep up with the speed of the game, which means he should fit in with this group of Rangers just fine.
In all seriousness though, McIlrath might turn out to be an alright defenseman in the future, but is nothing special and will not prove to be the answer for the Blueshirts. He was a surprise first-round pick of the Rangers back in 2010 as Sather tried to be smart and fool everyone, and it has obviously not worked, which is shocking to absolutely no one.
Taking almost four years for a first-round pick to play in his first NHL game is never a good sign, especially when he was called up due to injuries, lack of effort and a losing streak, and not because he was tearing up the AHL.
So far in 24 games in the AHL, McIlrath has three goals, five assists and 115 total penalty minutes. He will not be a game-changer, but could be a spark by throwing his body around. He will not score goals and he will not defend very well — he is just a bruiser at best. Sather needs to make other moves like trades, and make them fast in order for this team to be competitive again and get back in the playoff race before it is too late.