K’Andre Miller finding another gear for New York Rangers

There have been many bright spots throughout the New York Rangers lineup this season. One player who has often been overlooked is defensemen K’Andre Miller. At only 23 years old, the young defender is now in the fourth season of his career and has become a mainstay on the Rangers’ blue line.

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K’Andre Miller is starting to get it going

As of late, Miller has been ramping up his play for the Blueshirts. So far this season, Miller has tallied 12 points (5G-7A) along with a plus/minus rating of +7. This plus/minus rating is the second highest on the team. The highest is held by his partner, Jacob Trouba, at +10.

When he decides to shoot, he has been more accurate than ever. His shooting percentage is currently 16.1%, which doubles his career best. Even more notable is that three of his five goals have been game-winners. The most recent one came in the thriller of a game against the Nashville Predators. Miller is currently on pace for 41 points, which would leave him two points shy of his career best, 43, achieved last season.

That being said, Miller’s recent play could have him on track to smash his career high if he can keep it up. As of Tuesday night’s game in Ottawa, Miller now has three goals and one assist in his last four games. He has certainly been producing offense on another level during this stretch. In addition, his defensive game has remained solid.

In the Rangers’ three recent wins that were decided by one goal, and a loss by four, Miller’s plus/minus has been +1. So, even while increasing his offensive production, he has not been getting scored on very often along with Trouba.

“I think I’m just trying to simplify my game,” Miller mentioned. “I think that’s the biggest thing and I think everything else comes after that. Being reliable and making a good first pass and being good in our d-zone are my keys right now.”

It could be that Miller is finally coming into his game under the new systems of Peter Laviolette. Aside from a team commitment to defense, his system preaches that defenseman join the rush, pinch in the offensive zone, and look to produce whenever they can. In this recent hot streak, Miller has certainly been doing that.

More Responsibility for Miller

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Miller has been logging big minutes for the Blueshirts this season. Through 24 games, he has averaged 22:25 minutes on ice per game, which beats his career best by 28. In the month without Adam Fox, Miller stepped up considerably as he averaged 23:37 minutes on ice per game. He has certainly matured and stepped into a larger role this year. He even logged minutes on the 2nd power play unit while Fox was out with injury.

Despite being one of the best teams in the league, he believes the Rangers still have room to improve. “I don’t think we’ve hit it yet,” Miller explained. “I think we’re doing good things along the way. We’re doing a lot of little things the right way. I don’t think we’ve played our best. I think there’s still more to come and it’s an exciting time for this group.”

While he is now playing in his fourth season in the NHL, it is important to remember that Miller is only 23 years old. These streaks of fine play are bound to continue. Hopefully, for Miller and the Rangers, this level of play can become more consistent. A defenseman who locks it down in the defensive zone but can also provide consistent offense is incredibly valuable.

Speaking of value, Miller will certainly be due for a raise on his next contract. Especially if his play continues to improve. He currently earns an AAV of $3.872 million on his contract which is set to expire at the end of the 2024-2025 season. With the salary cap expected to go up next year, the Rangers may look to extend him early as he has been a great partner for captain Jacob Trouba. It will be exciting to see if this level of recent production will continue.

Dane Walsh is a life-long fan of the New York Rangers. Growing up in the tri-state area, Dane has... More about Dane Walsh