McIlrath is one of the Rangers' top prospects.
Before Ryan Callahan, Dan Girardi and Derek Stepan were representing the New York Rangers, they paid their dues in junior hockey, the NCAA and/or the AHL.
The Broadway Blueshirts don't have the league's best prospect pool, but they have a few players with some true potential, just like Callahan, Girardi and Stepan all possessed before establishing NHL careers. Each prospect is at a different point of the season, and here is an updated look at some of the Blueshirts' top youngsters.
Duclair has been a real surprise for the Rangers.
Current Team: Quebec Remparts, QMJHL
Draft Year: 2013, Third Round, 80th Overall
Anthony Duclair has been a pleasant surprise for the Rangers, and he is looking like a real diamond in the rough pick. Duclair was projected to be a first-round selection during the 2013 draft, but he fell all the way to the Rangers during the third round.
Duclair is an energetic and dynamic scorer currently tearing up the QMJHL as an 18-year-old. In 39 games Duclair has 33 goals and 27 assists for 60 points, and he is already projected to obliterate his career high of 66 points.
Overall Duclair is having a very strong season, and the future is looking very bright for the Canadian sniper.
Skjei is just a talented defender with upside.
Current Team: Minnesota Golden Gophers, NCCA
Draft Year: 2012, First Round, 28th Overall
Brady Skjei has had a decent sophomore year to date, and he is looking like he will be a real stud for the Rangers. The smooth-skating blueliner is 6'3" and 206 pounds, and he has five points in 17 games to date.
Skjei projects to be a steady all-around defender, and there are reasons why Ryan McDonagh's name has come up in reference to him.
Lindberg could get an opportunity as a spring call up.
Current Team: Hartfford Wolf Pack, AHL
Draft Year: 2010, Second Round, 57th Overall
There isn't a lot of buzz around Oscar Lindberg, because not many people have had the pleasure of watching him play. Before making the jump to North America, Lindberg was a stalwart overseas in the SEL.
During his last season he won the Stefan Liv Memorial Trophy as the Most Valuable Player of the SEL playoffs.
Lindberg is a quality two-way center that will primarily serve a defensive-minded role, but his offensive potential continues to grow as he becomes more comfortable. Thus far he has tallied 16 points in 33 games, and he appears to be gaining confidence each and every game.
McIlrath is a bruising blueliner with some upside.
Current Team: Hartford Wolf Pack, AHL
Draft Year: 2010, First Round, 10th Overall
The selection of Dylan McIlrath was confusing at the time, and the optics of the pick are still up in the air. The 21-year-old bruiser has only appeared in two NHL games to date, and he is the only player from the top 10 that has not had some impact to date.
Injuries have plagued the 6'5", 230-pounder, but it should be known that defenders mature slower than their forward counterparts.
Thus far it has been a bumpy road for McIlrath, and it will take another year or two to get a full read on his progress as a player.
Kristo has been another surprise prospect thus far.
Current Team: Hartford Wolf Pack, AHL
Draft Year: 2008 Second Round, 56th Overall
Danny Kristo was acquired this summer in a deal that sent Christian Thomas to the Montreal Canadiens. Thus far the deal has looked good for the Blueshirts, as Kristo has turned out to be a real solid player for the Hartford Wolf Pack.
Through 31 games, the 5'11" winger has tallied 22 points. He also has stepped up as a leader on a team that has seen many of its top players—Cam Talbot, Chris Kreider, J.T. Miller—get promoted to the main roster.
Right now, there isn't a place for the upstart scorer on the Blueshirts' roster, but he should have a good chance to make an impact in the next 12 months.