Now that we got that out of the way, the biggest (?) news in the NHL yesterday involved one of the Rangers' many subpar defensemen.
You might remember McIlrath as the dumb goon that fought Wayne Simmonds after that whole Simmonds feud with Ryan McDonagh. I don't think there's been any other noteworthy news about McIlrath literally ever, and the career stat line for your boy is 2 goals, 2 assists, and 84 penalty minutes.OFFICIAL: #NYR have acquired defenseman Steven Kampfer and a conditional draft pick from the Panthers in exchange for Dylan McIlrath.— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) November 8, 2016
So who the fuck cares that the Rangers dumped some scrub for an expiring roster player and maybe a 7th round pick?
Oh, this is where I should mention that the Rangers used the TENTH OVERALL PICK on him in 2010. Who else was on the board at that time?
- Vladimir Tarasenko & Evgeny Kuznetsov - I'll give them a pass on these two because Russian draft picks are always tricky. You never know when they're going to make it to the NHL (let's ignore that last season was the first one in which McIlrath played more than two games).
- Petr Mrazek & Frederik Andersen - Again, I'm fine with giving New York a pass here because goalies are impossible to project. I guess I should take the opportunity to note that Henrik Lundqvist is, of course, not getting any younger.
- Cam Fowler, Stephen Johns, Radko Gudas, John Klingberg - These guys aren't going to blow anyone's doors off, but you'd rather have a serviceable blueliner than a scrub like McIlrath.
- Jaden Schwartz, Brock Nelson, Tyler Toffoli, Joonas Donskoi, Jesper Fast, Mark Stone - Or maybe you'd rather have a solid forward?
- Justin Faulk - There is no excuse. Faulk is infinitely better than McIlrath and I hope he haunts the Rangers for the rest of his career in the Metropolitan Division.
The Rangers have a pretty extensive recent track record of not doing well in the early rounds of the draft. Let's go year-by-year:
- 2010 - McIlrath. See above.
- 2011 - JT Miller. To be fair, he has had a very solid NHL career thus far. They will almost certainly be protecting him in the expansion draft, which is actually a pretty decent measuring stick for how good of a pick it was.
- 2012 - Brady Skjei. He's a nice young defenseman, and he's technically a second-year pro so he will automatically be protected through expansion. That's two solid late-round picks in a row, I'm starting to lose steam.
- 2013 - Traded to Columbus in the Rick Nash trade. Nash, of course, has not had one single point in an NHL playoff game for the Rangers in the three years since.
- 2014 - Traded to Tampa Bay in the Martin St. Louis trade. St. Louis led the Rangers to the Almost Stanley Cup, which counts just as much as winning in my opinion.
- 2015 - Traded to Tampa Bay in the Martin St. Louis trade. Wow, two first round picks? That's steep. And New York also sent their 29-year-old captain to Tampa. Glad it worked out for them in the end.
- 2016 - Traded to Arizona in the Keith Yandle trade. That trade also include New York giving up Fan Favorite Dom Moore and Top Prospect Anthony Duclair (and a second round pick). Yandle's contract expired and he left the Rangers before Arizona could even make this pick.
I understand the logic behind trading four first round picks in a row. As I mentioned above, Lundqvist's window is certainly not getting any bigger. Adding Nash and St. Louis and Yandle were sacrificing some future talent for the ability to compete from 2012-2015.
- 2012 - Lost in the Eastern Conference Finals
- 2013 - Lost in the second round
- 2014 - Lost in the Stanley Cup Finals
- 2015 - Lost in the Eastern Conference Finals
- 2016 - Lost in the first round
Obviously, a run of three conference finals appearances in four years means they were very, very close to having those trades pay off. But now, going forward, wouldn't it be nice to some young talent in the mix instead of just Nash at $7.8 million for this year and next?