JT Miller: Mature and Ready to Shine
Could this be the year that JT Miller solidifies himself as a true NHL ready center man?
When you look at JT Miller, you see someone with loads of potential. Someone who shows flashes that he can be special. Shows that he has the vision and the tools to be a solid NHL player. Yet, can be easily forgotten and lost amongst a sea of players.
That was JT Miller last season for the New York Rangers. This season, he expects to be with the Rangers for the entire year, rather than bouncing back and forth between New York and Hartford. But he does have a lot to prove.
Last year, JT Miller didn’t show up early to skate with the team prior to training camp. This year, different story, as he was one of the first. Conditioning last year? Not too good. This year, head coach Alain Vigneault commented on the youngsters excellent conditioning and shape in training camp.
Miller has slowly started to show signs of maturity, which is good for him because if he stays the course and shows the flashiness needed he can be a permanent fixture on the Rangers for this season.
With Derek Stepan out, Miller is a sure lock to make the team out of training camp. Another youngster will likely be up with him (Hayes, Lindberg, etc…), and if Miller wants to prove himself, he needs to have solid games like he did during the first preseason game, night in and night out.
It’s a two-way street though. Alain Vigneault, also needs to show that he trusts him and allow him to grow into his game, and develop his role with the Rangers.
What we saw from Miller on Monday night was that he’s able to create, and generate chances for his teammates, as he had two assists. He wasn’t shy on the defensive side blocking a few shots. The challenge? Being consistent.
No not being on the score sheet night in and night out, but be noticeable. Monday night was the start of that, he has another chance to be noticeable tonight against Chicago.
Miller will need to prove that he has what it takes to be in the NHL on a regular basis, and him raising his maturity level will certainly help. He just needs to prove that he’s up to the challenge.