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Evan McGrath
Jersey Number: #19
Junior Experience: 2 Years
Date of Birth: Jan 14, 1986
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 185lbs
NHL Status: Eligable in '04
How Acquired: 1st round '02 Bantam
Originally projected to go as high as third overall in the 2002 OHL entry draft behind Wes O'Neill and Robbie Schremp who went to the Ice Dogs and Frontenacs respectively.  Evan made it very clear to all of the teams that he intended to go the college route, and obtain a postsecondary education in the US while playing hockey.  The Rangers whom have been known to provide competitive packages to prominant players, along with the close proximity of the two Universities in Waterloo elected to take a gamble on the gifted forward.  Their gamble paid big dividends when the McGrath family was introduced to the Kitchener Rangers organization and shown the facilities at the Memorial Auditorium, the Rangers' organization impressed and McGrath signed with the team.

McGrath started his junior career with the Rangers trapped down on the depth chart, because of the overwhelming depth on the team as a whole.  He found his way around the Rangers' lines, frequently centering a line with David Clarkson and Rafal Martynowski, he also found time on the wings as the Rangers would often elect to use Matt Grennier frequently at the center position to negate some of the better offensive forwards from opposing teams.

After a strong regular season for an underaged forward, McGrath found his way on to the Rangers' top unit for the postseason.  He played on Derek Roy's side for most of the first two rounds with Gregory Campbell.  The line gave the Rangers a good center to take faceoffs in the effect that Roy would be chased.  After a satisfactory start to the postseason, McGrath was replaced with: David Clarkson on the top unit when the team started to struggle against a veteran-filled strong Plymouth Whalers team.  Suddenly McGrath found his icetime limited as the other Rangers' lines seemed more than less fixed at the time.  Perhaps at the most opportune time, Evan was able to sneak back into the spotlight.  During the final game of the Memorial Cup, McGrath made good on his chances, scoring a pair of goals leading the Rangers in a 7-4 triumph over the Hull Olympiques.

During his sophomore season, Evan was to play center on the Rangers second line between David Clarkson and Patrick Davis who was also taken early in the 2002 draft.  Unfortunately Davis who displayed seemingly limitless potential early in the season, spent most of his rookie season on the sidelines forcing Craig Voakes into duty on the line.  After producing lots of goals early in the season, McGrath's offensive production tailed off significantly in the second half of the season some of which he was playing injured.

After a long scoring drought to finish the season, McGrath broke through scoring a pair of goals in the Rangers' second game, just missing a hattrick in Plymouth when his breakaway chance deflected off of the crossbar.  With both Richards and McFarland out of the Rangers' lineup for most of the 5 playoff games that the Rangers did participate in, McGrath was one of the Rangers only centers remaining and received an extrordinary amount of ice time.

McGrath is expected to go late in the first round at this year's NHL entry draft.  Looking forward towards the 2004-'05 season, Evan's third in the OHL, he will need to work on winning a greater percentage of faceoffs during what should be his second season as the Rangers' #2 pivot.  With both number and playing style McGrath reminds many Rangers' fans of former Ranger: Boyd Deveraux, who now plays with the Detroit Red Wings.

2002-2003 Kitchener Rangers
2003-2004 Kitchener Rangers
Career Totals
Photography provided by: Stephen Gardiner