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Red Wings acquire pick and defenseman for Vanek

Red Wings add fourth third-round pick in 2017 NHL Entry Draft and 24-year-old defenseman

by Kyle Kujawa /

DETROIT - The Detroit Red Wings today acquired a conditional third-round pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft and defenseman Dylan McIlrath from the Florida Panthers in exchange for forward Thomas Vanek.

McIlrath, 24, has appeared in 43 NHL games since 2013-14, totaling five points (3-2-5) and 94 penalty minutes. The former first-round pick (10th overall) of the New York Rangers has also skated in 204 American Hockey League games with the Connecticut Whale, Hartford Wolf Pack and Springfield Thunderbirds since 2010-11, notching 43 points (13-30-43), a plus-10 rating and 501 penalty minutes. A 6-foot-5, 236-lb., defenseman, McIlrath has appeared in six NHL games between the Rangers and Panthers this season, notching one goal and 14 penalty minutes. He has also recorded four points (1-3-4) and 39 penalty minutes in 22 games between Hartford and Springfield in the AHL.

A native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, McIlrath spent his junior career in the Western Hockey League with the Moose Jaw Warriors. In 232 WHL games between 2008-12, McIlrath picked up 74 points (16-58-74) and 551 penalty minutes, including a career-high 24 points (7-17-24) and 169 penalty minutes with the team in 2009-10. McIlrath also participated in the 2010 CHL Top Prospects game in 2010, prior to being selected by the Rangers.

Vanek, 33, has racked up 687 points (331-356-687) in 864 games over his 12-year NHL career with the Buffalo Sabres, New York Islanders, Montreal Canadiens, Minnesota Wild and Red Wings. Vanek was leading Detroit with 15 goals in 48 games played this season. He has reached the 20-goal plateau in 10 of his previous 11 seasons in the league, hitting 30 goals on four occasions and scoring 40-or-more twice in 2006-07 and 2008-09.

Originally drafted in the first round (fifth overall) by the Buffalo Sabres in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, the 6-foot-2, 214-pound, forward spent two seasons at the University of Minnesota before turning pro, collecting 113 points (57-56-113) in 83 games played from 2002-04. He helped Minnesota capture the NCAA National Championship as a freshman in 2003 and win back-to-back Western Collegiate Hockey Association titles in 2003 and 2004. He was also voted most-valuable player in the 2003 NCAA Tournament and was honored as the 2003 WCHA Rookie of the Year and a 2004 NCAA West Second-Team All-American. Vanek also captured a spot on the AHL All-Rookie Team with the Rochester Americans in 2004-05, registering 68 points (42-26-68) in 74 games played. Additionally, he led the United States Hockey League in goals and points prior to his collegiate career, accumulating 91 points (46-45-91) in 53 games in 2001-02.

The Red Wings now have 11 selections at the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, which will be held June 23-24 at the United Center in Chicago, including four picks in the third round and two in the sixth round. The Red Wings have also added a second-round pick and sixth-round pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft this week.

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