24-Year-Old Center – St. Louis Blues
Philip McRae Contract Information:
Signed to a one-year, two-way contract by the Blues in July of 2014.
McRae scored two goals, including the game-winner in overtime, in AHL Peoria's win over Chicago on Friday.
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Philip McRae: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Philip McRae.
McRae improved in his second season at AHL Peoria, lighting the lamp 23 times in 71 games with the Rivermen. He was a top-six forward at Peoria and was able to keep up while playing with AHL veterans. At 6-2, he has the size and is willing to use it and position himself in the traffic areas. At one point, McRae was the top forward prospect in the organization, but that was before 2010 first-rounders Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Tarasenko arrived. The Blues are well stocked at forward for the coming season, so McRae will have to make his bones in Peoria once again, but he's just 22 and it's too early to write him off. He'll get back to the NHL -- he had a 15-game run in 2010-11 -- as a top-nine power forward.
McRae made his NHL debut in 2010-11 when injuries hit, but he didn’t show much in his 15-game tryout. He had three points and was a minus-10 with the Blues. He was a little better at AHL Peoria, but he didn’t show enough to earn management’s confidence. Hence, the offseason signings of Jason Arnott and Jamie Langenbrunner. McRae’s fate for next season was sealed on July 6 when St. Louis signed the two veterans to provide the depth that McRae couldn’t. He still could evolve into every day NLHer, but it won’t happen in 2011-12.
McRae, 20, is coming off another successful year in the Ontario Hockey League, where he scored 72 goals and had 181 points in 249 games at the junior-league level. Since being drafted in the second round of the 2008 draft, McRae has added a much-needed 30 pounds of bulk to his frame. After the Blues traded Lars Eller and Aaron Palushaj within the last year, McRae becomes the organization's top skilled forward prospect. With a slew of young forwards already at the major-league level, McRae will have to establish himself in the AHL first with the Peoria Rivermen in 2010-11.
McRae left an impression on Blues officials during their 2009 Pro Orientation camp in July, before being sent back to his junior team, the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League. They rave about his NHL-ready shot and knack for scoring. He had 60 points (29, 31) in 59 games for the Knights last season and is on the Blues radar.
McRae posted 46 points in 66 games for the London Knights of the OHL in 2007-08 and will head back there after training camp with the Blues. Most reports indicate the Blues are happy with the 2008 2nd round pick and they believe he'll eventually have an impact in the NHL.