The Hockey Spy’s 2010 NHL Entry Draft Preview – Dylan McIlrath

Christopher Ralph is a sportswriter with a focus on hockey prospects, the entry draft, as well as occasional Flames coverage here at THW.

“Full Potential” Prospect Profile:

Please “Click Here” for “Notes Up Front” and the “Legend” for various topics covered below in my “Live Updated” NHL 2010 Draft Preview article.

Dylan McIlrath (Click on name for up- to- date stats)

Dylan McIlrath in the mold of Shea Weber {Photo Copyright: Francis Larrede/Patxi64 @Flickr}

Date of birth: April 20, 1992
Place of birth: Winnipeg, Man., Canada
Ht: 6-4.25 Wt: 212
Shoots: R

Position: D
2009-10 Team: Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL)

NHL Status: Draft Eligible 2010


McIlrath comes right in behind Moose Jaw teammate Quinton Howden to rank 16th in my rankings. “The Undertaker”, as he has been referred to by more than one scout, has had a meteoric rise up the draft rankings of pro scouting services this season.

To be known as the nastiest and most intimidating player in the WHL is one thing. To gain that moniker as a 17 year is quite another; in fact, simply unheard of.  McIlrath accomplished just that.

As I watched McIlrath in the WHL playoffs against the talented Calgary Hitmen, I got a glimpse of what an absolute force this young blueliner can be. Not only is he a freight train of a load physically, the kid can skate and has impressive speed. Carrying the puck, if he can’t go around you, he’s going to go through you! He also has a howitzer of a slapshot and an impressive wrist shot in his arsenal as well.

His defensive skills are already impressive and the ability to deliver momentum shifting monumental hits is reason enough for NHL teams to give McIlrath a shot. The two-way potential he exhibited this season, especially in the second half, only makes him all the more intriguing.

Worst case scenario, he becomes a shutdown physical defenseman enforcer who can skate. Give him time and have patience and you likely have a guy who can contribute offensively as well.

He has improved leads and bounds over the past two seasons, and I suspect he has just begun to tap into that potential.

Scout’s Honor:

“His mobility and footwork are impressive considering his size…He flat out intimidates with his style of play…He can contain forwards in all areas of the ice, especially down low…McIlrath does need to work on his puck skills as he handles it like a grenade.”

McKeens 2010 Draft Preview

“Big and mean, old-time typical NHL defenseman. He scares people not only with some frequent fights he might get in, but with 6-4, 212 lbs. straight ahead speed and offensive ability to match. Often, and in a very complimentary sense, makes puck carriers cut to the other side of the ice with his intimidating size.”

– Director of NHL Central Scouting, E.J. McGuire

“An old school defensemen who plays hard and very physical. A great deal of untapped potential that can be used in shut down situations as well as on the offensive side of the puck.”

– Moose Jaw Warriors head coach Dave Hunchak

Current Season:

2009-10:  McIlrath played in 65 games for the Warriors, scoring 7 goals and adding 17 assists for 24 points.  He posted a +20 rating for the season while amassing 169 penalty minutes.  In 7 playoff games for the Warriors, McIlrath notched 1 assist.

Other Accomplishments:

Dylan played for Team Orr at the 2010 CHL Top Prospects Game, played a rock solid defensive game and got into a spirited tilt with Team Cherry’s Alexander Petrovic – McIlrath came away with the decision.

Scouting Combine Performance: (

  • VO2 Max Test — In all, six players lasted more than 14 minutes on the most grueling of the endurance tests, led by Slovakian U-20 team defenseman Martin Marcincin, who lasted 14:15. Halifax Mooseheads goaltender Mathieu Corbeil-Theriault went 14:03, and four players went exactly 14 minutes — South Shore forward Charlie Coyle, AIK defenseman Patrik Nemeth, Moose Jaw Warriors defenseman Dylan McIlrath and Medicine Hat Tigers right wing Emerson Etem.
  • Wing span — McIlrath measured 83 inches fingertip to fingertip to easily finish with the highest total.

International Tournaments:

  • McIlrath suited up for Team West at the 2009 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge

ETA = 4 yrs

Risk-Reward Analysis: Risk = 1.5/5   Reward = 4.25/5

NHL Potential: Two-way Physical Blueliner


*See “One Timer” section above.

  • Size – great frame
  • Intimidating physical presence
  • Bone-crushing hitter
  • Very good skater
  • Two-way potential
  • Shutdown defender
  • Potent slapshot
  • Very good wrist shot
  • Excellent fisticuff skill set

Flaws/Aspects He Needs To Work On:

  • Continue to train to increase strength and add mass to great frame to help strengthen his physical play.
  • Continue to work to better utilize teammates.
  • Will need to further develop puck handling.

Fantasy Hockey Potential: Offensive = 8/10   Defensive = 8/10

NHL Player(s) Comparison:

At his best: Shea Weber



* Prospect Feature

Interesting Notes:  (

  • A physical force for the Moose Jaw Warriors, he racked up over 271 penalty minutes in his first two seasons in the WHL, including 19 fighting majors in 2009-10. He had a productive second half of the season, tallying 16 of his 24 points in 2010.
  • He showed a big improvement on his plus-minus rating from his rookie year (–22) finishing +19 in 2009-10. He was also the recipient of Moose Jaw’s Most Improved Player Award in 2009.

Other Rankings:

CSB: 17-NA

TSN: 30 {Bob MacKenzie}

McKeens: 15

THN: 23

THW:  16 (June ’10) {Christopher Ralph }

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This document is the intellectual property of Christopher Ralph and cannot be used or duplicated in any way without expressed written consent. Any use of this document without the expressed written consent of Christopher Ralph will result in public exposure and legal prosecution.

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