It appears the future is now for K’Andre Miller and the New York Rangers

K’Andre Miller is the type of defenseman that all NHL teams covet. He is big and strong coming in at 6-5 and 210 lbs. More importantly, the 20 year-old has speed and uses his advantageous reach on defense. Coupled that with a strong hockey IQ and offensive abilities makes him a potential future star on the blue-line for a decade.

K’Andre Miller has the New York Rangers full attention

One of the more striking details from yesterday’s State of the Rangers address was how President John Davidson went out of his way to compliment Miller.

We’re excited about K’Andre Miller with the way he played prior to bubble with the team,” JD began. “In talking to a lot of the people seeing K’Andre work this summer, there’s a maturity aspect there that’s going in the proper direction.”

Miller has been staying with a family in Connecticut and his roommate is none other than Alexis Lafreniere. The two have become friends and that should be a bond that can have long and beneficial implications for the Rangers and the kids.

Can K’Andre Miller make the Rangers?

k'andre miller
Miller looks ready (Charles Wenzelberg)

The big question many have is if Miller can make the Rangers in a short camp with no exhibition games? That remains to be seen, but it sounds like the deck is stacked for him to make it.

“I think he’s got a great chance,” GM Jeff Gorton replied when asked. “His commitment this offseason has been great. He’s been here a longtime training, working skating, so we’re excited to see how he looks.”

Should Miller make the team, the Rangers would have to worry about how his performance bonuses could impact the cap. Of course, there are ways for them to leverage the taxi squad to make it work in their favor.

Where would Miller play?

Miller playing on the left side with Tony DeAngelo or Jacob Trouba would be something to see. Ryan Lindgren is almost assuredly going to remain with Adam Fox. In a short camp, why would David Quinn break up the one pair that worked so beautifully last season? There really is no reason to do it.

That does then beg the question of where Jack Johnson and Brendan Smith fit? It would not surprise me one bit if Brendan Smith makes the team out of camp and is used on the 4th line similar to last season. Quinn would then have the security blanket to put him on defense if Miller were to be overwhelmed.

We should also not forget that Libor Hajek and Tarmo Reunanen are going to fight for a spot in camp. It’s very well possible that the entire left defense could be comprised of kids. Albeit very good kids, but young and inexperienced nonetheless.

This is already shaping up to me one of the more intriguing training camps in recent memory.

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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