As teams get ready for the start of the regular season, they have to submit final rosters and be cap-compliant on Tuesday evening. In New York, it seems this will cause the team to look for a deal for one of it’s young blueliners, despite having trouble in their own end last season.
According to Larry Brooks of the NY Post, the team is actively seeking a trade partner for Dylan McIlrath. Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal also tweets that Adam Clendening has made the squad, lending credence to Brooks’ report, since the two were basically battling for the same spot.
McIlrath, on a one-year deal worth $800K this season, is a former 10th overall pick of the Rangers from 2010 but has not blossomed into the bruising shut-down defender they’d hoped for. He played in 34 games last season, though did show some promising signs late in the year; his possession numbers were quite strong, even without the consistent playing time.
For the Rangers, going with the cheaper, younger option in Clendening is also about versatility. As Brooks writes, the 23-year old free agent is able to play both sides of the ice, while McIlrath is strictly a right-side option. While that may scare off the Rangers, many teams (see: Edmonton) are looking desperately for right-handed options that can be effective in the NHL. McIlrath may not represent that right now, but with his pedigree and relative youth the Rangers will probably have no trouble finding a buyer.