Could Miller swap US red white and blue for New York’s?
When the Rangers hit the ice in the next couple of weeks, a player with plenty of momentum and a huge chance of making the Rangers opening night roster will be J.T. Miller. Physically mature and improving with every game he plays, Miller had an impressive World Junior’s, growing in importance with each game as the American team won gold in impressive fashion. With nine points in seven games and a +5 rating to boot, Miller enjoyed the WJC on an individual level in addition to soaking up team glory.
As previously discussed, players such as Chris Kreider– along with Miller – also represent the future of the Rangers, but a player such as Kreider may not be in form right now, while other younger players such as Christian Thomas or Ryan Bourque simply aren’t ready. However with every additional game throughout the WJC, Miller has started to look pro ready.
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Team USA pulled it off. After beating a stacked Team Canada in the semi-finals, USA beat an equally talented Sweden team 3-1 in the World Junior Championship Finals to capture WJC gold. Very few thought that the Americans would win gold from the onset of the tournament, as the Russians, Canadians, and Swedes were all incredibly talented teams with high-profile scorers. USA won on great goaltending from John Gibson, superior defense, and a north-south grind-it-out style.
J.T. Miller –the Rangers 2011 first round pick– added another assist to his totals, tallying the primary assist on the third goal. He also finished with a +1 rating, two shots on goal, and a 6-5 record in the face off circle.
Miller finished tied for the team lead in scoring, with two goals and seven assists throughout the tournament (seven games). Miller started the tournament off slow, but got better with each game he played. He was one of the most visible and most dominant US players.
J.T. Miller and Team USA showed they belonged in the semi-finals of the 2013 World Junior Championship this morning, dominating Canada in a 5-1 victory. Team USA lost to both Canada and Russia by identical 2-1 scores in pool play, and needed wins over Germany and Slovakia just to make the single elimination tournament. Since then, Team USA has outscored opponents 12-1 en route to the finals.
Miller, who played his best game of the tournament this morning (something we say after every game), finished with two assists, a +3 rating, two shots on goal, and nine face off wins (out of 12 total). Miller assisted on the final two USA goals, and was on the ice for the final three goals.
Team USA will face the defending champion Swedes Saturday morning at 8am EST. The game will be on TSN, NHLN, and NHL.com
Team USA, who escaped pool play as the third team out of Pool B, showed that they are still a hockey powerhouse, as they routed the Czech Republic 7-0 in the quarterfinals of the World Junior Championship.
J.T. Miller, who has been playing better with each passing game, scored a powerplay goal and added two powerplay assists in the victory. Miller finished with an even rating (all points on the powerplay), but did lose 10 of 15 face offs.
Team USA will face off against Canada in the semi-finals tomorrow morning at 4am EST. The game will be on TSN, NHLN, and online at NHL.com
J.T. Miller Team USA routed Peter Ceresnak and Team Slovakia by a score of 9-3, propelling USA to the medal round and eliminating Slovakia from competition. Miller finished the contests with two assists, 2 PIMs, a +2 rating, three shots on goal, and 14 face offs won (out of 18 total). Peter Ceresnak finished the contest with an assist and a +1 rating, which is impressive considering the USA scored nine goals.
Throughout pool play, Miller and Ceresnak were looked at as team leaders and played in multiple situations, including the powerplay and penalty kill. Team USA has incredible depth, which limited Miller’s playing time a bit (although he is wearing a ‘A’), but Slovakia does not have that depth. Ceresnak was one of their leading defensemen.
Miller finished pool play with a line of 1-2-3, 2 PIMs, 11 shots, and a +1 rating. Ceresnak finished with a line of 1-1-2, 0 PIMs, 7 shots, and a +1 rating.
Team USA will face the second place team in Pool A, which is the Czech Republic. The game will be on Wednesday at 3pm local time, of which I have no idea what time that is here.
Team USA lost its second straight game by a score of 2-1, this time to the Canadians. Team Canada jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals by future NHLers Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Edmonton) and Ryan Strome (Islanders). The US was held scoreless on 17 shots through two periods before Jacob Trouba finally broke through in the third with a powerplay goal. That would be all the scoring for the US.
J.T. Miller was held scoreless for a second straight game, and finished the game with three shots on goal, and five face off wins (of 11 total). Miller was also on the ice for both Canada goals, thus finishing with a -2 rating.
Team USA’s World Junior life depends on the game against Slovakia tomorrow night. A win against the Slovaks means the USA makes it to the medal round. A loss means they are sent home.
J.T. Miller and the USA World Junior team lost to Russia in regulation by a score of 2-1. The goalies were the story of this game, as Andrei Makarov and John Gibson put on a show for the fans. The shot totals weren’t overwhelming, but each goalie turned away numerous quality scoring chances. USA falls to 1-1 in pool play, with Canada up next on Sunday at 4:30am.
As for Miller, the Rangers prospect was held scoreless, and finished with an even rating and three shots on goal. Miller also went 10-7 on face offs.
The US team will need a regulation win against Canada to ensure a spot in the playoff round.
The USA just completed their first game of pool play, routing Germany by a score of 8-0. While many will point to the fact that the USA were playing a weak opponent, they truly looked like an elite team in their dismantling of Germany. USA dominated play, allowing just 26 shots on goal by Germany, compared to the whopping 46 taken by the US.
JT Miller, wearing the ‘A’, notched the seventh goal for the US, and played a fairly strong game. Miller finished with a goal, two shots on goal, and a +1 rating. Miller also went 9-4 on face offs.
The next game for the USA will be tomorrow against Russia. Peter Ceresnak and Slovakia will take on Canada. The full schedule is available on the IIHF website, and all games are being televised on the NHL Network.
Update: 10:10am: Ok I misunderstood what was going on. I thought the roster had been set. It has not. Miller is expected to make the team. Skjei is still on the bubble, but has impressed thus far in camp.
Original Post: This is a bit old, but J.T. Miller and Brady Skjei have both made the US team for this year’s World Junior Championships. Miller, who was on the team last year, will likely be named captain prior to the start of the tournament. This will be Skjei’s first year with the club. Skjei has already received comparisons to Ryan McDonagh, but it’s a bit early in the game to be making that sort of comparison.
Miller had a bit of a slow start with Connecticut, but has really turned it on as of late. In seven games in December, Miller has a line of 3-4-7. In his previous 18 games in October and November, Miller had a line of just 2-5-7.
Skjei isn’t lighting the lamp with Minnesota with a line of 1-1-2 in 15 games, but the fact that he made the WJC club shows where he is in terms of overall skill. Remember, point totals are misleading.
Are the Whale doing right by the prospects?
Andrew Yogan has one point in 10 games. Marek Hrivik has no goals and five points in 10 games. Key prospects JT Miller and Chris Kreider have a combined 3 goals in 12 and 11 games played, respectively. Alternatively, Brandon Segal (29 years old, 102 NHL games) has eight points in 12 games and Michael Haley (26 years old, 43 NHL games played) has five points in 12 games. The statistics you just read were intended to be a little thought provoking.
Clearly, outside of the odd game here and there or the odd exception (like Christian Thomas’s recent upswing in form, or, for the most part, Kyle Jean) it is the veterans and players with little realistic NHL future that are being counted on to produce for the Connecticut Whale so far this season. All of this begs the question; what should be the priority for the Whale: on ice success or prospect development?
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