Fantasy Summary

A fringe NHLer whose potential is likely that of physical number six/seven defenceman. He doesn’t provide much offence but will definitely rack up penalty minutes.


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April 2018 – McIlrath had a decent season for the Griffins, putting up 17 points and 119 penalty minutes in 76 games played. The big defenceman will only have some fantasy hockey value in deep leagues that count penalty minutes and only in the off chance he gets a call-up. Mark Hillier


September 2017 – It was definitely a roller coaster of a season for the young, physical defender. After being traded twice last season, McIlrath found himself on the Grand Rapids Griffins where he ended up winning the Calder Cup. On June 28th he signed a two year contract extension with Detroit. He finished last season with one point with 14 penalty minutes in six NHL games, eight points with 81 penalty minutes in 43 AHL games and 5 points with 25 penalty minutes in 19 AHL playoff games. The young rearguard will likely never be a point producer but he definitely knows how to rack up penalty minutes. With Red Wings’ coach Jeff Blashill pushing for the team to sign Luke Witkowski earlier this Summer, his added toughness likely prevents a need for the team to call up McIlrath unless the younger defender proves to be more reliable than Witkowski or the injuries really build up on the big club. With younger defensive prospects with higher upside looking to move up the depth chart in Detroit, McIlrath will be tough to ever earn a full time spot with the Red Wings. Jameson Ewasiuk

February 2017 – After a five game stint with the Panthers, McIlrath was put on waivers and ultimately sent down to Springfield earlier this month. A once promising first round prospect, McIlrath’s NHL career is off to a rocky start, as he is looking more and more like a career fringe NHL defenseman. He will need to be given a real opportunity at the NHL level before joining the fantasy conversation. Joel Gluss


November 2016 – Coming out of training camp, McIlrath was the odd man out on the Rangers’ back end.  After clearing waivers and spending some time in the AHL, he was dealt to the Florida Panthers for prospect Steven Kampfer and a conditional pick.  In his fifth pro season, the large stay-at-home defenseman needs to make the most of this opportunity in south Florida to preserve any sort of fantasy value longer term. Geoff Kent


July 2016 – Clearly wanting to see more from the hulking D-Man than he’s shown so far, the Rangers signed the former 10th overall draft pick to a one-year, $800,000 contract, avoiding an arbitration hearing. McIlrath, possibly on the cusp of becoming a full-time NHL blueliner, has played in only 37 big-league games and is looking like he’s going to be a bottom-pairing man rather than a big-minutes shutdown defender, although he still has time to evolve at 24. Mark Allan


February 2016 – It has been a bumpy road for the Rangers’ 2010 first-round pick. After playing three full seasons in the AHL with the Wolfpack, and a few games sprinkled in with the Rangers, McIlrath is starting to make some strides in the right direction. After making the Rangers directly out of camp, he has been in and out of the lineup, mostly depending on matchups. In the 20 games he has found his way into the lineup, he has managed to find the back of the net once, and add two assists. His confidence is increasing every game, which is a good sign for the Rangers, who left him in the minors to develop for the previous three seasons. This positive trend bodes well for both the Ranger organization and McIlrath, who is in a make-or-break type season. As far as statistics go, he will never be a big offensive threat, scoring a point here or there. Most of the minutes he is receiving are on the penalty kill or in defensive situations. His large frame provides him the ability to fill lanes and win battles along the wall, whichis why the Rangers are keeping him around as a sixth or seventh defenseman. Depending on how he finishes this season, we will have a better understanding if he is capable of taking on a top-four defensive role. Bryan Puffer


July 2015 – After the disappointing first half, McIlrath picked up his game late last season. He was the best defenseman in Hartford. McIlrath is a big, strong crease clearer defenseman. He also has excellent straight away speed, a solid wrist shot and sees the ice well. The Undertaker is physically dominant, lays out big hits if he has the opportunity. McIlrath has to improve his decision making and needs to play a more disciplined game. He’s very good on the penalty kill, really strong in front of the net and never loses board battles. He competes hard every shift, and his development is on the right track. McIlrath never will be an offensive weapon, but the NHL forwards wouldn’t like to play against him. He just signed a one-year extension with the Rangers and if he can put together a good performance in the Training Camp in September, then he will stick with the big team as a seventh defenseman, because he is waiver eligible. Jozsef Kurtosi


December 2014 – Defensemen usually take longer to develop, but McIlrath has never looked the same since his knee injury. He is improving a little bit every year, but he has not performed up to expectations in the AHL. He has played in 31 games for Hartford but has only contributed four assists, with 55 penalty minutes and is a minus-10. McIlrath is playing top-pairing minutes in Hartford like last season, but partnering with the offensive-minded puck-mover Mat Bodie. He needs a more defensively responsible line-mate and needs to improve his skating and his decision making. Right now he looks like a career AHL defenseman, nothing more. There is a chance he could be dealt at the NHL trade deadline for veteran help.Jozsef Kurtosi


May 2014 – Rangers drafted McIlrath in 2010 as a four year project. Accordingly, The Undertaker spent the last four years in the minor leagues and it appears that next season will be a make or break year for him. Last season his knee injury was a setback in his progression, but in the 2013-14 AHL season he played top pairing minutes at even strength and he was an important part of Wolf Pack’s penalty killing unit. His overall game steadily improved but needs to start showing some dominance in his own zone. He is a crease clearing defenseman and every NHL team needs that type of player. The New York Rangers have four right-handed shooting defensemen but there are two potential spots opening up if  Anton Stralman out prices himself in New York and Rafael Diaz leaves town. If these two leave the Big Apple, there is an opportunity for McIlrath to earn a spot on the Rangers blueline in 2014-15. Jozsef Kurtosi


January 2014 – Four years after being selected as a high first rounder, the Rangers are yet to get significant use of their investment. It’s been a slow growing experience for the big man whose size was above pro quality leaving junior, but his development has been interrupted a couple times with knee injuries. With the management on Broadway moving out Del Zotto recently, rumors of Dan Girardi leaving also and Anton Stralman underperforming, the Rangers seem ready to move forward with Coner Allen and McIlrath in the near future. Penalty minute hounds take notice. Jason Banks


March 2013 – A dislocated knee in December sidetracked McIlraith, but otherwise he’s been as advertised – huge, tough, and gritty. He’s looking more and more like a future enforcer, assuming that role is still around in three years. Dobber


April 2012 – He is a big, bruising defender and one of the most feared enforcers in the WHL. In 52 games he put up 23 points for the Moose Jaw Warriors. After being criticized for his lackluster skating and less than impressive offensive skills, he has improved a bit in both areas to become a complete defenseman.  If he can continue to grow as a player he could become a second or third pairing, shutdown guy in the NHL. Zenon Herasymiuk

Fantasy Upside 2.5
NHL Certainty 4.0
Country CAN
Position D
Roster Type Minors
Shoot/Glove Right
Date of Birth April 20, 1992
Height 6‘5”
Weight 236 lbs
Drafted 2010 Round 1; Overall: 10


 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2007-2008 Winnipeg Warriors U17 AAAWAAA U1734 5 1722 68|        
 2008-2009 Moose Jaw WarriorsWHL53 1 34 102|        
 2009-2010 Moose Jaw WarriorsWHL65 7 1724 169|Playoffs7 0 11 21 
 2010-2011 Moose Jaw WarriorsWHL62 5 1823 153|Playoffs6 0 00 15 
  Hartford Wolf PackAHL2 0 00 7|        
 2011-2012 Moose Jaw WarriorsWHL52 3 2023 127|Playoffs14 0 66 12 
  Hartford Wolf PackAHL0 0 00 0|Playoffs5 0 00
  WHL All-StarsJr Super Series1 0 00 0|        
 2012-2013 Hartford Wolf PackAHL45 0 55 125|        
 2013-2014 New York RangersNHL2 0 00 7|        
  Hartford Wolf PackAHL62 6 1117 165|        
 2014-2015 New York RangersNHL1 0 00 9|        
  Hartford Wolf PackAHL73 6 1117 165|Playoffs15 0 22 23 
 2015-2016 New York RangersNHL34 2 24 64|Playoffs1 0 00
 2016-2017 New York RangersNHL1 0 00 4|        
  Hartford Wolf PackAHL4 0 00 11|        
  Florida PanthersNHL5 1 01 10|        
  Springfield ThunderbirdsAHL18 1 34 28|        
  Grand Rapids GriffinsAHL21 0 44 42|Playoffs19 0 55 25 
 2017-2018 Grand Rapids GriffinsAHL76 7 1017 119|Playoffs5 0 00
 2018-2019 Detroit Red WingsNHL7 0 00 4|        
  Grand Rapids GriffinsAHL52 1 910 98|Playoffs4 0 00 10 
 2019-2020 Detroit Red WingsNHL16 0 00 23|        
  Grand Rapids GriffinsAHL44 0 88 73|        
 2020-2021 Grand Rapids GriffinsAHL29 2 68 70|        
 2021-2022 Hershey BearsAHL74 4 610 99|Playoffs3 1 01
 2022-2023 Washington CapitalsNHL6 0 11 7|        
  Hershey BearsAHL60 0 1313 102|Playoffs20 1 12 44 
 2023-2024 Washington CapitalsNHL1 0 00 5|        
  Hershey BearsAHL42 3 58 71|