One could sense the air quickly being sucked out of the MSG Training Center Wednesday morning with it falling into a dead silence as one of the Rangers top prospects, defenseman Dylan McIlrath, writhed on the ice clutching his left knee.
A major sigh of relief followed about half an hour later when McIlrath---limping, yet smiling---confirmed that his knee injury was "not anything too big"---something that was confirmed shortly thereafter when the team reported the injury was "not serious" and listed McIlrath as "day-to-day" for the remainder of the 2012 Development Camp.
"I'm going to see the Doc right now, but I'm relieved it's probably only a tweak," McIlrath said after being treated by team trainers and before heading out for a precautionary visit to the doctor. "I had hurt my right knee in a similar kind of deal, and that's what I immediately thought. It hurts like hell at the time, but realistically it's not too bad. I should be fine."
The injury occurred with 6:08 left to play in the morning scrimmage. McIlrath skated across the high slot at high speed looking to take forward Kyle Jean out of the play. The two had a nasty collision, with McIlrath's left knee absorbing too much of the blow, which left the Rangers top pick from the 2010 Draft down on the ice. He was helped to the dressing room by two teammates, where the favorable diagnosis was made.
This minor setback did not alter McIlrath's plan of challenging for a spot on the Rangers blueline come the Fall.
"Sticking to my style of play will be what helps me in trying to make the team because not everyone is willing do the things I am, like fight or be nasty," said McIlrath. "If I can use that to my advantage in making the team, great. But I definitely know it'll be a lot of hard work and competition to do so."
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