Being drafted by the New York Rangers was a "dream come true" for their first-round pick, Dylan McIlrath, last weekend at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
McIlrath, the No. 10 pick, and the rest of the Rangers' 2010 NHL Entry Draft class were treated to a tour of Madison Square Garden Monday, as well as a tour of "The Transformation Room" which previews what will become of the Garden while undergoing renovation over the next three to four years.
Even at 18 years old, McIlrath knows all about the Rangers storied franchise and the history of the Garden.
You look at the banners, names like Messier, and great hockey players like that," he told NHL.com. "Just the history and the whole atmosphere, I'm sure, it's going to be great once the building is packed. I'm looking forward to playing here."
In McIlrath, the Rangers are getting a "big, physical defensemen," he said very honestly. As he gets older and develops, McIlrath wants to become just as good offensively as he is defensively now. "I think what they're going to see in the future is a real complete player."
McIlrath hopes his transformation into a "complete player" happens before the transformation of the Garden is complete, but knows that it could be a while.
"It's going to be a long process and I know I have a lot of work to do," he said. "This summer I'm going to work my hardest to get bigger, faster, stronger and work on areas I need to improve. You're always trying to make the team every year."