JT Miller and Team USA defeated defending champion Team Sweden by the score of 3-1 to win the gold medal at the World Junior Championships in Ufa, Russia.
Miller had an assist in the game, which gave him nine points (2g, 7a) in seven games.
Here's Miller with USA goaltender and Tournament MVP John Gibson (via Michael Rappaport)...
And in an unbelievable piece of post game video, here's Miller getting interview bombed by the World Junior Championship bear mascot...
...one thing I pride myself on with this blog is admitting when I'm wrong (see Brad Richards signing). And that couldn't be more of the case with my pre-tournament argument that Miller would be better off staying with the Whale than heading over to Russia to play in the World Juniors. At the time I felt continuing to learn the "Rangers way" would be much more beneficial to his development, man I couldn't have been more off base.
...and I just don't mean because he won a gold medal, it's what he dealt with during the tournament. He learned to overcome adversity as up until the Slovakia game, Miller wasn't exactly having a great tournament. But instead of getting down on himself, he stepped up his game at the biggest of moments as he scored eight of his nine tournament points in the final four games. All must wins. I was also very impressed with how he thrived under the added pressure of wearing a letter and being a leader of a team which a year ago disappointed with a seventh place finish.
...and finally the biggest reason was being in a winning environment. It's no secret that the Whale are slopping around in mediocrity right now and that can sometimes have a negative affect on young players. I'm more than certain that Miller will come back with a huge sense of confidence which can only further his development into a solid NHL player.
So after watching this tournament, what kind of player are the Rangers getting? I'll let TheNYRBlog's Adam Herman take that one...
JT Miller has not had a flashy game, but if Tortorella is watching this game he is creaming his pants over how Miller is playing... (1/2)— Adam Herman (@Herman_NYRBlog) January 5, 2013
... good combination of speed and size, good stick work, works hard along the boards and has no problem taking pain to make plays.— Adam Herman (@Herman_NYRBlog) January 5, 2013
He probably won't be a first-liner in the NHL, but would be surprised if he isn't a big contributor on a Cup-contending team.
@dook83 Agreed. I think his ceiling is 2nd liner.