NEWS: JT Miller Signs With Plymouth

Chris Johnston tweets that 2011 first round pick JT Miller has signed on to play with the Plymouth Whalers of the OHL.

Miller signed an entry-level deal with the Rangers yesterday.

He said that he is excited to get to Plymouth and described himself as “a big forward who likes to use my speed to my advantage. I try to get pucks to the net and be in front of the net as much as possible.”

Miller can play with Plymouth this season, and then with the Whale next season, if the Rangers think that he is ready. His contract will slide and won’t take any years off as long as he doesn’t play 10 games in the NHL.

Miller was originally a fifth round pick of the Whalers in the 2009 OHL draft.

NEWS: Rangers Sign JT Miller

Update: 11:03AM: The Rangers have sent through a press release.

Original Post:The Rangers have announced that they have signed 2011 first round pick JT Miller to an entry level contract.

Miller is eligible to play for Hartford this season.

He is 6-1, 198 and had 11 goals and 26 assists for the US National team last season.

CLICK HERE to see all key posts about Miller.

This certainly knocks out any chance he had of playing at North Dakota this season. Plymouth is an option, but so is playing with the Whale since he wasn’t drafted out of the CHL. This is a pretty interesting move.

Miller was the 15th overall pick this past June.

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Read: Is The NCAA The Better Option For JT Miller?

At Hockey Buzz, Julie Robenhymer writes that choosing the OHL over the North Dakota and the NCAA’s may not be the best thing for JT Miller’s development.

She calls Miller a “heck of a player” and says that the OHL may not be challenging enough for him.

Robenhymer cites North Dakota’s program and pedigree for breeding NHL players as things that could have benefited Miller.

Ryan Bourque said that the junior hockey route is preferable because of it’s similarity to the pro game.

She mentions that Miller could sign with the Rangers and play in Hartford because he wasn’t drafted from the CHL into the NHL, so if that is possible, he could end up in Hartford this season. I think that is unlikely though and that he will play in Plymouth. If Miller isn’t challenged in Plymouth this season, and that would hopefully mean that he dominates, he will play in Hartford next season and start his pro hockey career then.

BUZZ: JT MIller Expected To Play In The OHL

Update: 2:30PM:

Coming Down The Pipe has confirmed with Miller that he will play with Plymouth next season.

Original Post:

Kevin Allen tweets that JT Miller is expected to play with Plymouth of the OHL next season.

Miller was expected to play with North Dakota.

Wow. That is a bit of a shocker. The Rangers prefer the CHL option for their prospects and may have been able to convince him to change his mind.

Miller has said that he would like to turn pro after one season at North Dakota.

For more on JT Miller, CLICK HERE.

READ: Is JT Miller Three Years Away?

At ESPN’s NHL Draft Blog, Gare Joyce lists out how long he thinks it will take each first round pick to make the NHL.

For the Rangers first round pick JT Miller, Joyce thinks that it will take him three seasons.

Joyce says that he thinks Miller will play two seasons of college hockey and then have a shot at making the Rangers.

He wrote previously that he thought Miller could be ready after one season.

Miller himself thinks that he will be able to play after one season.

We will see. A lot depends on how he plays this season at North Dakota and how the Rangers think he is developing.

Quote: JT Miller Wants To Turn Pro Soon

“One year, that’s been a goal for me for a while now,” Miller said. “That would be outstanding.”

Miller to Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants

Gare Joyce wrote that Miller may be ready after one year at North Dakota.

Miller is the kind of player who can grow and play his game in the bottom six when he is ready to turn pro. In time he will be a second line player that will be a key for the Rangers on both ends of the ice, but he can develop by playing in checking roles.

More on Miller throughout the morning.

READ: Draft Prospect JT Miller

At the WHL blog, WHL From Above, CJ compiles a mock draft.

He has the Rangers select center Jonathan Miller of the USA National Development Program.

Miller is 6-1, 190 and had three goals and 12 assists last season for the US National team.

At USA Today, Kevin Allen has Miller going 10th to the Minnesota Wild, but calls his pick “a hunch.”

He had a strong Under 18 tourney for the USA, but seems all over the board on mock drafts and rankings. Some people have him very high, others very low. The vibe that I get is that a team will probably take him higher than many people think as he seems to have a lot of talent, but just isn’t consistent enough. but when he is going, he is really good.

In the way that the Rangers took Dylan McIlrath, seemingly out of nowhere, last year, a team that likes Miller will take him no matter where they are picking.

First-timers lead Whale into round 2 of the 2012 Calder Cup Playoffs

On Sunday, the Connecticut Whale defeated the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, 4-3, on an overtime goal scored by forward Casey Wellman. The goal not only propelled the Whale to a game 3 victory, but also provided them with win No.3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series, giving Connecticut a first-round sweep.

Cam Talbot was the winning goaltender in each of the three first-round tilts, recording a 3-0-0 record, two shutouts, 127 saves (on 130 shots), a .92 goals-against-average, and a spectacular .977 save-percentage. Although the first-round is still in action, it is pretty much a guarantee that Talbot, 24, enters the Eastern Conference Semi-Final’s leading all goaltenders in most—if not each—of the category’s mentioned above.

Talbot’s appearances in the opening-round shouldn’t have come as a surprise to anyone who follows the Whale, having witnessed the success that the 6-foot-3, 200-pound; Caledonia, Ontario, native had in the final months of the regular season. Chad Johnson, the No.1 goaltender for most of the year, struggled late in the season, opening the opportunity for Talbot to start.

“(Talbot’s) had a great run in April here, and he’s been a large part of our success,” said Whale head coach Ken Gernander on Sunday. “He played well in all three games.”

During the 2011 Calder Cup Playoff’s, Talbot was made the back-up goaltender to 2011-12 Whale MVP, Dov Grumet-Morris. With Johnson in the NHL for the New York Rangers’ playoff run, if an injury occurred to Grumet-Morris, Talbot would make his first professional playoff appearance. In game 6 of the Whale’s opening round against the Portland Pirates, Grumet-Morris was injured early in the second period and Talbot relieved him. Talbot played the final 38:18 of action, allowing two goals on 24 shots as the Whale lost 5-4, and was eliminated from the playoffs.

In Bridgeport last Thursday (April 19), Talbot made his first official post-season start, blanking the Sound Tigers in a 3-0 victory. Talbot made 42 saves in the win. Then in game 2 on Saturday, Talbot stopped another 41 Sound Tiger attempts, shutting them out once again, 3-0. Talbot carried his shutout streak into the final 14-seconds of period 1 in game 3, before Bridgeport forward Justin DiBenedetto scored on a power-play—ending the streak at 139:44.

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READ: Rangers Draft Grade

At ESPN’s NHL Draft Blog, Gare Joyce gives the Rangers a B- for their draft this weekend.

He says that besides Jonathan Miller, the Rangers didn’t add much. He does say that 4th round pick Michael St. Croix is an “interesting player.”

Grant Sonier says that Miller is a combination of “sandpaper, skating and grit” and that St. Croix and Shane McColgan could surprise people.

Miller was the big Ranger pick this weekend, and since their second pick was a high school player, their draft grade doesn’t surprise me. I do think that overall the Rangers should have a better grade since Tim Erixon was basically a second round pick since they traded two to get him. When you really look at the Rangers draft, it’s Tim Erixon, Jonathan Miller, Steven Fogarty, Michael St. Croix, Shane McColgan, Samuel Noreau and Peter Ceresnek.

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