Could Miller be the next new Ranger?

January 7, 2013, by
Could Miller swap US red white and blue for New York's?

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.

When the regular season opens the Rangers will want to get off to a quick start. While an ideal world would see Miller with more pro experience before arriving in New York, the former first round pick has an excellent opportunity to crack the Rangers line-up given his momentum from his time in Russia with Team USA. Miller will no doubt be full of confidence as he returns to America, will be desperate to hit the ice, and keep up his form and given his style would actually fit nicely in the Rangers system should he be deemed ready.

Miller would also be a nice story for the media. As a freshly anointed Team USA hero, making the red white and blue of the Rangers as a rookie would definitely be newsworthy. However despite the media potential it is his form that is the big reasons that find Miller with a solid chance to make the opening night roster.

John Tortorella and Glen Sather have shown they’re not afraid to throw in the kids if they think they’re ready (see Stepan, Derek and his impact with the hat trick against Buffalo). Given the varying status of other players in the organisation, Miller seems to tick many boxes ahead of the NHL’s return. In form, with competitive hockey under his belt and blessed with talent; it may be J.T. Miller’s time to shine on the big stage and sooner than many expected.


  1. Walt says:

    Bring him into camp, let him show his stuff, and let the best players make the team!!!!!

    Sure would be nice to see Miller, and Kreider both make the team.

    • Chris says:

      Both would be a dream but at this stage unlikely. I hope they go with those that are ready and those that are deserving. If Kreider impresses by all means play him but if guys aren’t ready they shouldn’t (and with Torts, won’t) play.

      Think it may be a little soon for Miller but he’s growing as a player by the day and its exciting for Rangers fans to see.

      • Walt says:


        Like I said, let the best players make the team!!!!! Under Torts, one is never given a shot unless they earned it.

  2. Chris.C says:

    As much as I’d like too see JT in Blue. I would rather him mature in the A League this year.

  3. Dave says:

    I’m still of the belief that Miller needs a full AHL season under his belt before he will be ready.

    Of course, I thought that about Stepan too.

    • Matt Josephs says:

      Difference between Miller and Stepan is when Stepan came there was a roster spot open for him as Prospal was injured. Miller doesn’t exactly have that.

      • Dave says:

        Eh, not entirely. They can leave Haley with the Whale, scratch Rupp or Asham, and then move Pyatt to the fourth line. There’s always room.

  4. Sioux-per-man says:

    Who ever scores ….. STAYS.

    To short of season not to have your VERY BEST PLAYERS on the ice.

    If Newbury and Kolarik are the top scorers for the Whale shouldn’t they be filling in first. Not alot of room for development in a 48 game season?

  5. Matt Josephs says:

    Rangers are short a forward for opening night as Asham is still suspended for that stick to the throat of Couturier. I think Michael Haley will be the first choice because Torts will go for experience over an unknown quantity.

    If this were a full training camp and real season Miller might get a legit shot, but right now I don’t see it.

    • Matt Josephs says:

      I meant to say “real pre-season”.

    • Dave says:

      Forgot about that suspension. Good call. Haley will likely get that spot for the opener, especially if it’s against the Islanders.

      • Josh says:

        Stu Bickel is a more likely option to replace Asham for one game without making a call-up.

  6. rickyrants13 says:

    NOTE TO EVERYONE KRIEDER is making this team.

  7. rickyrants13 says:

    No spot for Miller??? Unlike other players. JT doesnt have a defined roll. He could play on all lines He doesnt have to be a top six. Therefore there is a spot for him.

    • Dave says:

      I’m inclined to agree here. There’s a spot if he forces management’s hand. He has to outplay Taylor Pyatt though (see reasoning above).

  8. rickyrants13 says:

    the cap plays into this as well

    • Dave says:

      They have plenty of cap space to fit Miller, even with Redden on the payroll this year.

  9. WilliamW says:

    No need to rush him. This season’s fate will rest on the top 6’s ability to produce.

    Let Miller learn the pro game for a year and take a 3rd line role next year. Boyle and Pyatt are both bigger and more defensively responsible, which is what the 3rd line’s role will be this year

  10. agentsmith says:

    with his peformance in playoffs last year kreider minimally earned himself dibs for a roster spot this year. but no question hes gonna have earn playing time. this team is still short a top six forward. i dont think hagelin is and miller isnt ready imo. kolarik could make a push for an bottom 6 role.

  11. original 6 says:

    Having watched the USA games, I don’t see Miller being NHL ready this year. He was far from dominate and looked out of position at C after playing on the W in Connecticut. If he earns he plays, but I don’t see that happening.