Originally posted on The Rangers Tribune  |  Last updated 7/5/12

Ryan McDonagh is a special kind of hockey player that the Rangers are extremely fortunate to have on their hands. For a kid that was only recalled by the Rangers in December of 2010, it's amazing that he is already among the League's best shutdown defensemen in 2012. It's been a pleasure watching Ryan mature and grow into the powerhouse that he now is, and the best is yet to come from the 23-year-old. 

The Good: McDonagh is a coach's dream player. He's responsible, steady and can play in any situation against any opponent. McDonagh is a one and a half-year veteran, as wild as that sounds. It really is incredible to see how much this kid has grown in just two seasons of professional hockey, especially with how he held himself in the postseason in the months of April and May. McDonagh, based on performance, was the most consistent Ranger defenseman all season long and is probably the blue-liner that is most trusted by the coaching staff. 

McDonagh's poise and decision-making is what puts him ahead of the rest. Nothing seems to faze him and nothing ever negatively impacts his judgement of a play. How often can you say you've seen McDonagh burnt badly by an opponent, even as skilled as an Evgeni Malkin or Alex Ovechkin? I cannot even think of one instance on the fly. He's that good/dependable. 

The Bad: The only area of McDonagh's game that can be improved upon is his offense. 32 points on the year is nothing to be ashamed of, but if McDonagh wants to ride with the elite, adding some more offensive production will speed up the process even faster than it is moving at the moment. From the powerplay to leading the rush, there is room for improvement and I'm sure this is something that has been addressed with management and the coaching staff. 

Highlight of the Year:

 

Overall Assessment: Let's cut right to the chase here; Ryan McDonagh is the best defenseman on the New York Rangers roster. Dan Girardi is a close second, but when I analyze a player, the two major aspects of their game that I take into heavy consideration are expectations and consistency. McDonagh has blown his expectations as a second-year defenseman out of the water and is as consistent as they come. The Rangers have a gem on their hands here, that WILL NOT BE TRADED, Mr. Howson. 

Report Card Grade: A

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