**Apologies for the lack of appearances this summer. It's been a very busy time but September is here and that can only mean one thing: Hockey is around the corner.**
Tal Pinchevsky of NHL.com has a great piece this morning on Dylan McIlrath learning from Hartford Wolfpack assistant coach Jeff Beukeboom, who should be considered the best mentor possible for the 2010 first-round pick.
"I've got a good situation with Beukeboom being the defensive coach. He's great with me," McIlrath told NHL.com. "We have a good relationship. That's the style he played and he knows firsthand what it takes to win."
That style impacted impacted McIlrath's first pro season, suffering a knee injury in Rangers rookie camp and limited the defenseman to 45 games. He's rehabbed and ready to take the next step in 2013-14: challenge for a spot on the Rangers' backline.
"The great thing about Dylan is he has no misperceptions about what kind of player he is. He is very easy to coach from that standpoint. Unfortunately he only played half a season last year because of injury. But his future looks promising," Beukeboom told NHL.com. "Coaches told me, 'Don't worry about this guy, he knows what he is.' It was refreshing to see that type of player. You don't see them too often, a player of his demeanor, because he seems to relish it."
Training camp begins September 12 and McIlrath will look to impress the new Rangers coaching staff.
- I said it when the Rangers brought Beukeboom in that it was the best thing that could've happened to McIlrath (the next coming of Beukeboom). Beuke put the fear of God in his opponents during his heyday with bone-jarring hits and protecting his crease and teammates. The Rangers hope for much of the same from The Undertaker.
- Having Ulf Samuelsson as the Rangers assistant coach is another beneficial move. McIlrath will be sure to pick his brain as much as he can during camp.
- Got to love reading McIlrath relishes contact. Can't wait till he lays someone out for the first time.
Where did McIlrath pick up the nickname "The Undertaker?" Coming from a fan of wrestling, that's a pretty big nickname to live up to.
@TheNYRBlog I love that McIlrath's nickname is The Undertaker
McIlrath didn't get the knee injury in his first game - he collided with Kyle Jean in prospects camp last June and I'm pretty sure it was during a practice (although could be wrong on that part)
I just watch 10 McIllrath fights and he doesn't just hit people he finishes. even his checks are finishers. he will greatly improve our toughness ones he's in the lineup. I miss Michael Sauer but I hope McIllrath can finally fill his void and then some. Beukeboom was imposing and fear inspiring but I think McIllrath will dwarf him as far as fighting goes. I just hope he's anywhere near the defender Bueke was. lets hope the injury big stays far away from him. I hope he wears 23!!!
@tygalpin He'll be bigger. He doesn't rehearse with opponents.
@JDWackbag So awesome!
@Melissa (blknblueshirts) Too much vacation time for James. I'll fix it.
@KevinDeLury Sorry...I hate being THAT person but thought I was missing something.....