The New York Rangers have sent former first-round pick, defenseman Dylan McIlrath to the sunshine state in a swap with the Florida Panthers. Headed to the Big Apple is another defenseman, Steven Kampfer, and a conditional 7th round pick (if McIlrath draws in for 30 games this season).
Both defenders have struggled to get playing time at the NHL level this season, as both recently cleared waivers and were assigned to their respective AHL teams.
McIlrath, a 24-year-old Winnipeg native, is best known for his size, standing 6’5” and weighing in at an intimidating 236 pounds. He made his NHL debut in the 2013-14 season, appearing in just two games. It wasn’t until last year that he got his first real taste of NHL action, playing in 34 games. He put up just four points, but racked up 64 penalty minutes over that span.
On the other hand, Kampfer, who is 28 years old, is a known quantity with 134 NHL games under his belt. He made his debut in 2010-11 with the Boston Bruins. He eventually was traded to the Minnesota Wild, then finally found his way onto the Panthers.
Last season, Kampfer posted a career-high in games played, with 47. He had four assists, a plus-minus rating of plus-five, and 26 penalty minutes. He played a shade over 15 minutes per game, which was his lowest total since the 2011-12 season.
Unlike McIlrath, Kampfer is on the smaller side, standing at 5’11” and weighing in at 192 pounds.
The Panthers spent much of their offseason retooling their defense, and it looks like they are continuing to tinker with their lineup.