Dylan McIlrath was drafted during a different time, when speed and skill sometimes fell by the wayside in favor of size and toughness, but after a grand total of 38 games with the New York Rangers, the 2010 10th-overall pick’s time in the Big Apple is over.
Following reports earlier this season that the Rangers were looking to deal the 24-year-old blueliner, McIlrath was dealt Tuesday to the Florida Panthers in exchange for recently waived defenseman Steven Kampfer and a conditional seventh-round pick, contingent on McIlrath getting into at least 30 games with the Panthers this season.
It’s not surprising that McIlrath is moving on. After all, he fell out of favor in New York this season, made it into just one game, skated nine minutes, next to nothing for a rearguard, and was demoted to the AHL by late-October.
It doesn’t mean McIlrath’s career is over and the change of scenery could very well end up working out for him in the long run. But as it stands right now, McIlrath’s career hasn’t quite gone how the Rangers would have hoped.
He’s not alone in that, however. There are more than a handful of players drafted in the past 15 years who haven’t been able to turn promise into results, and here are five who haven’t made their mark despite being selected in the top 10:
Alexander Svitov — Drafted: Tampa Bay Lightning, 3rd overall, 2001
The 2001 draft wasn’t exactly thin, per se, after Ilya Kovalchuk and Jason Spezza, but the prizes were certainly lesser. Even still, the Lightning couldn’t have known that Svitov was going to end up busting out of the league by the time he was 24 and score a whopping 780 (and counting) points fewer than the player drafted one spot ahead of him.
It’s not even as if the talent fell off to such an extent after Svitov that drafting him was the best option available. Stephen Weiss was drafted with the next pick, Mikko Koivu went sixth overall and R.J. Umberger was the 16th pick.
Svitov’s career didn’t end with him failing to cut it in the NHL, though. He left for the KHL after a third NHL season — seven goals and 18 points in 76 games with Columbus — and has been a mainstay in the league ever since. He’s never really been a prolific scorer, though, netting 73 goals and 149 points in 350-plus KHL games.
Petr Taticek — Drafted: Florida Panthers, 9th overall, 2002
Of the 290 players drafted in 2002, 103 played at least one game in the NHL and 98 saw more action than Taticek, who only skated three games in his big league. Safe to call him a bust.
The thing is, selecting Taticek wasn’t all that out of left field. Heading into his draft year, he posted 21 goals and 63 points in 60 games with the OHL’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, and he followed that up with 12 goals and 57 points in 54 games the year after being taken in the top 10 by the Panthers. From there, though, he jumped into the pro game and the results weren’t pretty.
Over the next two seasons, he played 130 games with the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage, scored 11 goals and 41 points and even spent a stint in the now-defunct Central Hockey League. He got his three-game taste in 2005-06, spent much of the subsequent year in the AHL and ended up in Switzerland the next year. He’s still playing, but now for the German DEL’s ERC Ingolstadt.
Zach Hamill — Drafted: Boston Bruins, 8th overall, 2007
If you take a look at the first dozen picks of the 2007 draft, Hamill sticks out like a sore thumb. Among players like Jakub Voracek, Logan Couture, Brandon Sutter and Ryan McDonagh is Hamill, who managed only 20 career games and four assists over the course of his entire stay in the NHL. That’s a disappointing swing-and-miss for the Bruins given the amount of talented players that came out of the first round.
Hamill was one of those players who could find a fit in the AHL, but his game never quite translated to the NHL. In the six years following his first pro season, Hamill spent most of his time jumping around AHL affiliates and he mustered 66 goals and 190 points in 349 games in the minor league.
He decided to head elsewhere in 2013-14, though, and bounced around Europe for the next three seasons. He went from the KHL’s Barys Astana to Liiga HPK and followed that up by splitting his 2015-16 between three clubs in Switzerland and Germany.
Nikita Filatov — Drafted: Columbus Blue Jackets, 6th overall, 2008
Filatov isn’t remembered all that fondly, but the bizarre thing about his career is that despite making the jump to the NHL early and never really producing in the big league, his AHL numbers actually had him looking like he could have been a point-producing stud. In 39 AHL games in his rookie year, he scored 16 goals and 32 points and he even had a fine start to his NHL career with four goals in eight games.
But that was about as good as things got for Filatov. Following his rookie year and a frustrating start to 2009-10, he asked to be loaned to a KHL club and the Blue Jackets acquiesced. It was all down hill from there. He came back in 2010-11 and managed seven assists in 23 games, was traded to the Ottawa Senators the following season and had a single assist in nine games before landing back in the KHL by 2012-13.
Filatov’s KHL career hasn’t gone all that swimmingly, either. In 221 games, Filatov has 49 goals and 110 points, but he’s been demoted to the KHL’s minor league as recently as the 2015-16 campaign.
Scott Glennie — Drafted: Dallas Stars, 8th overall, 2009
Glennie looked like a can’t-miss prospect. In four seasons with the WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings, Glennie managed 121 goals and 308 points in 252 games, and there was no reason to believe he’d be anything other than an NHL regular in the years that followed. However, his career didn’t quite pan out in Dallas.
In Glennie’s first year as a pro, he scored 12 goals and 37 points in 70 games, but that’s where Glennie topped out in the Stars’ organization. In the three years that followed, he wasn’t bad, scoring 34 goals and 91 points in 156 games, but he battled injury and didn’t look like he was going to find a spot in the NHL. Following the 2015-16 season, the Stars decided not to bring Glennie back, and he finished his time with the franchise having played just one NHL game.
There is a silver lining for Glennie, though. After spending the entire 2015-16 season rehabbing injuries, he seems to have found some early season magic with the AHL’s Manitoba Moose. In three games, Glennie has two goals and five points. He’s only 25, so better days could be ahead.
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