January 13, 2021

Excitement for K’Andre Miller’s Rangers debut is warranted

K’Andre Miller ready (Newsday/James Escher)

One of the most anticipated days for Rangers fans has finally come. K’Andre Miller has made the New York Rangers opening night roster after dazzling the Rangers and head coach David Quinn in training camp.

What K’Andre Miller brings to the table

Miller joins the Rangers after playing two seasons at the University of Wisconsin. The 6’5″ defenseman recorded 40 points during his time in the NCAA. Transitioning from forward in high school to defense, he has excelled on the blue-line.

k'andre miller
K’Andre Miller impressed in camp (Charles Wenzelberg)

The rookie also brings another left-handed shot onto the Rangers defense. He should bolster the left side of the Range’s defense that consists of second-year defensemen Ryan Lindgren, new acquisition Jack Johnson and veteran Brendan Smith.

Miller brings amazing skating to the lineup. At the time of his draft, former GM turned analyst Craig Button called his skating “elite.” He didn’t stop there and went on to call him a “puck transporter.”

The 20 year-old will look to learn from his new defense partner, Jacob Trouba. They were paired late in camp and David Quinn really liked what he saw. Trouba and Miller are similar in that they are big, mobile defensemen that can do damage in the offensive zone. With Trouba being an 8 year veteran in the league, he will look to show the rookie Miller the ropes of the National Hockey League.

What makes them different is Miller’s speed as highlighted and his puck carrying ability. Trouba is more physical, but let’s give Miller some time in that department too.

Temper expectations

Even though there’s plenty excitement around K’Andre Miller making the New York Rangers to start the season, fans need to temper their expectations for the young rookie. Development for Miller will come as time goes on during his rookie campaign, so expect mistakes and teachable moments.

He said it himself that he has a lot to prove this season.

K’Andre Miller’s first year should be a good one. Like most Rangers fans, I’m looking forward to seeing him to put on the Blueshirt for the very first time.

New York Rangers season preview podcast with Steve Valiquette

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