Each day this week, we will be profiling a prospect that the Bruins could draft with the 15th pick overall at the NHL draft this Friday in Los Angeles. We will also provide insight from Matt Ebbs, president of Charron Langlois LLP & Ebbs Sports Management Ltd. and former Director of the International Scouting Service, one of the services most commonly used by NHL teams to get the skinny on draft prospects.
Defenseman, Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL)
This 6-foot-4, 210-pound defenseman may have one of the best combinations of size, puck-moving skills and grit available. His style and size epitomize the "Big Bad Bruin" style which the Bruins have progressively brought back as their identity, and he's definitely "difficult to play against."
With Cam Neely now serving as president and with more authority on player personnel decisions, it would be surprising if the Bruins pass on this rugged rear guard should he be available at this point in the draft.
Here's what Ebbs had to say on McIlrath:
"He's tough and big, and that's evident immediately when you see this kid play. Obviously that's something we saw with Philly and Chicago, that you're going to need toughness to win a Stanley Cup. That's why it wouldn't surprise me — particularly now with Cam at the helm — there may be a little extra emphasis to pick a kid like that because he's got skill, but more importantly, he's got a lot of toughness. You can just see it when you look at him or he looks at you. He has that look.
"The NHL is still an extremely tough league and you gotta have it. As much as you need to skate, you still have to be tough. This kid has a nasty side. He's skilled with a great first pass, and that is something that I think the Bruins will love. That's a rare combo. The Bruins could use more of that combo in their farm system and this is a kid who could definitely even make the NHL roster."
On Tuesday, we'll look at Jarred Tinordi.
Screen grab from YouTube.