After the first half of his first pro season, JT Miller is an alternate captain for Team USA at the World Junior Championships.
On hoe he has progressed so far, Assistant GM/Hartford GM Jim Schoenfeld told Blueshirts United:
“JT is a very interesting player in our organization. He is kind of like a throwback; a good two-way player, but he is strong and hard on the puck. He sees the ice well, has a good shot and can make plays so we see him as someone who has the makings of being a complete hockey player. He wants to learn and he was telling me that he was starting to ‘get it.'” He is starting to understand his game, how it applies to the AHL level and how difficult it was to make the transition. You could almost see week by week as his play would incrementally was getting stronger and I would say over the last few weeks he has been our best forward.
Chris Peters writes at the United States of Hockey that Miller will need to have a big role for Team USA and create space for his linemates. Miller will also need to use his size and strength to be a force on the forecheck.
According to Kevin Allen of USA Today, Buffalo Sabres draft pick Jake McCabe will be the captain for Team USA at the World Junior Championships.
Allen says that JT Miller will be one of four alternate captains along with Seth Jones, Jacob Trouba and Cole Bardeau.
At the United States of Hockey, Chris Peters writes that during Team USA’s 5-1 loss to Finland today JT Miller had some struggles.
Peters said that it was surprise to see Miller struggle but he is still likely to be the captain for Team USA.
Miller struggled in the faceoff circle and didn’t create much offensively.
Peters classified the game as “forgettable” for Miller.
Former NHL All-Star Phil Housley is the coach for the United States World Juniors team and during the training camp that the team held at the Rangers practice facility in Westchester he praised 2011 first round pick JT Miller.
At Blueshirts United, Housley said “ Since JT has been here he really has put his foot down and extended himself in that leadership role which is great. It’s great to see JT lead by example. He competes out there, which is what we need from our leaders.
Bob McKenzie tweets that Miller is likely to play on the top line with Rocoo Grimaldi and Chris Kreider’s former BC teammate Johnny Gaudreau.
Peters also thinks that Miller will end up being the captain for Team USA
At ESPN.com, JT Miller told Katie Strang that he is very happy that the Rangers allowed him the opportunity to play for Team USA at the World Junior Championships.
Miller said that he feels he has some unfinished business from last year that he wants to take care of.
Assistant GM Jeff Gorton told Strang that he felt Miller was one of the best players in Connecticut over the last few weeks.
Gorton also told Strang that playing at the pro level will be a big boost for Miller in this tournament.
In an article about Pittsburgh area prospects playing for Team USA, Miller told the Penguins website“Last year, (my role) was more providing energy for the team, just kind of jump in on offense whenever I can and be steady on both ends. But this year, I think I’m going to be the kind of guy that can be key in all situations, in special teams. I might be the only guy with professional experience under my belt and that’s really going to help me going into this tournament.
Miller said that he wants the responsibility of having a letter on his jersey, “just trying to be a leader and hopefully I can wear a letter. That would be really nice for me. Just try to lead the team in the right direction, because me and the few guys that were over there last year know what it takes.”
Corey Pronman writes at ESPN Insider, “Miller shows the ability to be effective, be it through his playmaking or through his physical game and energy. He’s the kind of forward who can make a nice play or go through an opponent.”
Chris Peters of the United States of Hockey thinks that Miller will be the captain for Team USA.
This season, JT Miller has 5 goals and 9 assists in his first professional season.
His month by month breakdown is:
- 1 goal, 3 assists, 11 shots and 4 PIM in 7 October games
- 1 goal, 2 assists, 15 shots, 17 PIM in 11 November games
- 3 goals, 4 assists, 15 shots, 4PIM in 7 December games.
Ken Gernander told Blueshirts United that he likes where Miller is at and that he is receptive to learning.
He adds that Miller is a very big part of the team and that he is progressing as a player.
In an interview, Miller said to Blueshirts United that his role for Team USA has evolved from last season. “I need to be a leader on and off the ice and play as best as I can. I need to lead by example and help out my teammates in anyway that I can.”
He added that he is excited to be a leader and play with the young players.
Miller said that his top priory on the ice is taking care of the defensive zone before he looks to go up ice, “I have been trying to fit a role. I am trying to be more responsible in my own zone before going up ice to play offense.”
He added that being a center hampers his offensive game a bit since he wants to make sure that he makes the right play before leaving the zone.
Miller then said something that would make John Tortorella happy, “it would be nice to score more goals but everything starts in the defensive zone. If you are smart in one end of the rink then it’s gonna happen in both ends of the rink for you.”
Chad Kolarik was asked by Blueshirts United about JT Miller and said, “He struggled a bit at first in his own end. He is 19 years old, what do you expect? He is very mature and responsible on the ice and he is a big boy.The confidence ever since he got that call to play for Team USA. To be a leader on a team is something special.
Yesterday, JT Miller was named to the preliminary roster for Team USA’s World Junior Team.
Miller is the only returning forward for Team USA and Chris Peters writes at the United States of Hockey that because of that his role will be crucial and that he should be a big factor in whatever Team USA does.
Peters writes that Miller is likely to wear a letter for Team USA and praised his vision, ability to create time and space, strength speed and tenacity.
When ranking the Rangers top prospects, both Leslie Treff at Hockey’s Future and Corey Pronman at Puck Prospectus ranked JT Miller in the top three, but Treff put him at two and Pronman put him at three.
Pronman says of Miller, “his hockey sense and work ethic stand out” and that Miller can flash high end playmaking skills to go along with a strong two-way game.
He thinks that Miller can possibly be an above-average second line center.
Treff writes that Miller, with the strength that he added, could become a big force in front of the net as he continues to develop with the Whale.
At the United States of Hockey, Chris Peters looks at JT Miller and the role he could have for Team USA at the World Junior Championships…..if the Rangers allow him to play in the tournament. (Note: Reports said yesterday that Miller would be allowed to play.)
Peters writes “When it comes to first-round picks like Miller, the investment a team makes is a big one, so no one can blame the Rangers for doing whatever they want with their property.”
On why he thinks the Rangers should allow Miller to play, Peters says that the experience of playing in the tournament this year, against many players who should be playing in the NHL right now and that Miller would have a major role for Team USA playing in all situations and being in a leadership role.
Miller would miss nine games with the Whale but play in six or seven high pressure, competitive games for Team USA.
The Rangers refused to let Evgeny Grachev play for Russia in his first season in Hartford and ended up regretting the move.
THIS SECTION is about all things JT Miller.
According to Katie Strang, the Rangers are expected to allow 2011 first round pick JT Miller to play for Team USA in the World Junior Championships.
THIS SECTION is all about JT Miller.
The Rangers regretted not letting Evgeny Grachev play for Russia in the World Championships during his first season in Hartford.
THIS SECTION follows Miller and the World Juniors.
At the United States of Hockey, Chris Peters writes about the leading candidates to play for Team USA at the World Junior Championships this December in Ufa, Russia.
One of those players is JT Miller who would be one of three players to return from last year’s team.
Miller has two goals and four assists in 12 games for the Whale. He has registered at least one shot in 10 of 12 games this season as a rookie.
Peters says that the experience Miller is getting in Hartford is invaluable and “it might do Miller some good to get back into games against his peers and have a chance to play more of a featured role.”