"The problem for the Rangers is how best to handle Miller during the lockout as in a normal season, Miller would have been a shoo-in for the Whale roster. Now the Rangers need to consider whether or not to burn a year of Miller's entry level contract.
The options for the Rangers with Miller are:
- return Miller to the OHL and recall him if there is a settlement then let him play 10 games as a pro (NHL or AHL) before returning him to Plymouth.
- let Miller play for 10 games (with CT Whale) then return him to the OHL (but nobody is clear whether or not the Rangers would still be able to recall him if there is a settlement)
- keep Miller in the AHL and hope it speeds up his NHL development
- return Miller and let him spend the season in the OHL."
...Miller has looked real good this preseason for Plymouth after a solid Team USA evaluation camp this summer, so I'd love for the Rangers to stick him on the Whale roster with Kreider and let them develop their games together. I think another year in the OHL is a waste of his time and talent.
Speaking of Miller, Craig Custance at ESPN Insider named him a Rangers "name to know"...
"The 6-foot-1 Miller was the No. 15 overall pick in the 2011 draft and impressed scouts and observers at the Traverse City prospect tournament last summer by scoring two goals in four games against more experienced players. His size and responsible two-way game will appeal to Tortorella if there's ever a training camp."
Custance adds that Miller got invaluable experience observing Tortorella hockey up close when the Rangers added him to their playoff roster last spring.
Finally, Corey Pronman at Hockey Prospectus left Miller out of his top 100 NHL prospects, but did list him as a player who just missed.
Pronman did have Chris Kreider at #32 (what?!?!?!) and Michael St. Croix at #93.
...Pronman is notorious for hating on Kreider. All you need to know about this list is that Tim Erixon is at #13. Huh?
When Miller was drafted, and planning on going to UND, he made it clear his goal was to play one year in NCAA's and then he wanted to go pro. The Rangers asked him to play Jr. instead, and he did. He's met, or exceeded everything the Rangers have expected for him. Give the kid the chance to make the jump to the AHL.
If he's not capable of playing at the level after 10 games, send him to Juniors. If struggles in the A, and has to go back to Juniors at any point, my bigger concern would be that a guy we used a #15 overall pick on is a bust, then that we burned a year of his ELC. If the kid is going to come up and be a difference maker, he'll rise to the occasion, and that's the only way he really matters.