Tuesday, November 16, 2010

McIlrath Update: Andrew Gross of Ranger Rants reported that Dylan McIlrath (2010 1st) was flying into New York for an MRI and to meet with the Ranger's medical staff. 

Thanks to Gregg Drinnan of Taking Note we have more info regarding the injury as Matthew Gourlie of the Moose Jaw Times Herald filed this interview with McIlrath

“I remember battling in the face-off circle for the puck,” said McIlrath. “I watched the video and it looked like the guy fell on the outside of my right knee.”
When McIlrath went down he was in obvious distress and his pained scream could be heard all the way to the Civic Centre rafters.
“I heard a noise you shouldn’t hear and went down in a lot of pain,” said McIlrath. “I knew right away it was pretty serious. I’m not the one to lay on the ice if it wasn’t serious.”
The way his knee has responded in the two days after the injury is offering a glimmer of hope that the injury may not be as severe as first feared.
“It’s slowly getting better. The swelling has gone down. I’m able to walk better,” said the Winnipeg product

It is very ironic that on the day the New York Islanders removed Scott Gordon as their coach that their prospects really stood out. Casey Cizikas (2009 4th) earned "Star of the Game" for Team OHL in Game 4 of the Subway Super Series against the Russian Select team.

If there was any doubt about whether Cizikas has earned himself a spot on Team Canada then his performance on Monday night should have erased those doubts. Cizikas scored Canada's only goal during regulation when as he was killing a penalty, Cizikas found himself with a loose puck then broke in on Russian goalie Igor Bobkov and faked him out with a deke to score the game tying goal shorthanded at 4:20 of the 3rd period.

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Cizikas did miss on his shootout attempt but Ranger prospect Ethan Werek (2009 2nd) was also a member of Team OHL and he did nothing to hurt his chances at a spot on Team Canada's World Under-20 squad.

When Nino Niederreiter (2010 1st) was sent back to the Portland Winterhawks we circled Monday as a game to zero in on as this was going to be the only time during the regular season when the 2010 first round picks of the Rangers and Islanders were going to meet in a game.

McIlrath's injury ended that hope but Nino did not disappoint with his performance as the Swiss sensation set up what proved to be the game winning goal when he fed Ty Rattie at 3:44 of the 2nd period giving Portland a 4-2 lead as that turned into a 6-3 win over the Moose Jaw Warriors.

Niederreiter also added an empty net goal (his 3rd of the season) at 18:38 to seal the win for the Winterhawks. While it was a shame that we did not get to see the matchup, Niederreiter showed that he is starting to feel comfortable again in the WHL.

El Nino is now 3-5-8, +5 in 9 games with the Winterhawks and the bad news for the Brandon Wheat Kings is they are next on the Winterhawk's road trip.

We bring that up because Niederreiter is going to be facing his future teammate in 2008 3rd round pick David Toews who is the first line center for the Wheat Kings.

Toew's Wheat Kings were on the road themselves on Monday night as they beat up on the Regina Pats 5-2. Toews scored his 5th goal of the season in this game as the Wheat Kings just out played the Pats going away with a 3 goal third period outburst.

Toews who missed a month with an ankle sprain is going to be seriously tested on Tuesday night as right now the Winterhawks are the best team in the WHL.

(Images Cizikas/Aaron Bell/ OHL Images, Niederreiter/Portland Winterhawks, Toews/Brandon Wheat Kings, Video courtesy of the Canadian Hockey League)

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