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Finally, Dylan McIlrath has made it to the New York Rangers roster. He’s also know played his first game for the Blueshirts this season.

By Jay Travers

1authorjay - New York Rangers: Dylan McIlrath's First NHL Game Leaves Positive ImpressionFrom my bedroom TV I watched the New York Rangers take on the Winnipeg Jets. I cheered when I saw No. 6 take the ice early in the first period.

Dylan McIlrath has had promise for a few years, but hasn’t been able to make that final stride to the NHL. Now, the Rangers’ 10th overall pick from the 2010 NHL Entry Draft has matured over a few years in the minors and has a shot at making it big.

During tonight’s Rangers 4-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets, McIlrath didn’t have a lot of minutes, seeing 12:20 of time on ice. Regardless, he played a decent game from the blueline every time he was on the ice.

During the first 20-minutes of play McIlrath saw his first shot on his first shift. A sweet, quick pass from down-low in the offensive zone set up a great one time shot for the 6’5”, 230 lbs. defenseman.

The shot looked great as it left his stick, but the puck elevated just a little higher than expected. A loud, and mocking, “ping” echoed around Madison Square Garden. A look of laughter came across McIlrath’s face.

McIlrath also had a dominant defensive game, taking the body several times and getting to the dirty areas, reeking havoc.

1abetheconvo - New York Rangers: Dylan McIlrath's First NHL Game Leaves Positive Impression

He wasn’t afraid to get in the face of players and stick up for his teammates. McIlrath grabbed the sweater of a Jets’ player at the Rangers bench after a hit, and tugged on him until the Jets player reacted with a look and a push.

It’s great to see that McIlrath isn’t afraid to get in the face of players, as this is something the Rangers should like to see from their players. This is a hard nosed group who doesn’t like to back down from any challenge, any extra grit is always appreciated.

The Hartford Wolf Pack has done a great job turning McIlrath into a great two way defender. Putting up six goals and 17 assists down in Hartford last season, McIlrath has worked non stop to get this spot on the Rangers roster. You have to think he’s going to do everything he can to stay up in the NHL.

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All in all, McIlrath’s first game this year has left head coach Alain Vigneault with positive vibes, in my opinion.

He’s demonstrated that he’s ready to play at the level, even during the preseason it was made obvious by McIlrath.

Any mistake that was made last night was corrected, and more was done so it wouldn’t happen again. A few careless turnovers made me cringe, but it happens. McIlrath made an effort to make the right play and that’s what was done.

After tonight, I say he’s ready to stay on the Rangers roster for a long time. It’ll be interesting to see how McIlrath’s play is out in Montreal, as the Rangers take on the Canadiens on Thursday night.

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I love watching sports, specifically teams in New York. I’ll root for all New York teams, but the New York Rangers and hockey are my number one. I am an avid hockey fan and enjoy expressing my opinion on the Blueshirts, when they are playing good and bad.