DETROIT - APRIL 08: Andy Miele #17 of the Miami Redhawks tries to get one past John Muse #1 of the Boston College Eagles on April 8, 2010 during the semifinals of the 2010 NCAA Frozen Four at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Thanks to Comcast not realizing that I don't pay for the sports package, I've been able to watch plenty of college hockey on the weekends. In particular, I've been watching the Miami University RedHawks solely because of #17, Andy Miele.
To be clear, I'm by no means a scout. In fact I'm more of a couch potato who jumps in on men's league games to try and relive the glory days. But Miele is so good and such a step above his competition that it is nearly impossible not to recognize his potential. Even at only 5'8 (probably shorter) and 175 pounds, Miele is a man amongst boys.
Redhawks head coach Enrico Blasi describes Miele as "your typical small guy, if you get under his skin he's got six foot two syndrome and will come after ya". That is my kind of player. The times I've watched Miele, he has played with a high level of aggression, initiating contact instead of shying away from it. He battles in the dirty areas of the ice and even though he is smaller player, he plays big.
Miele was passed over during his draft year, which may have been a blessing in disguise. As an undersized player he already had something to prove. But going undrafted gave him the extra push and drive to work relentlessly at his game. A highly skilled, motivated player, is a dangerous asset.
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Miele has led the RedHawks to the Frozen Four the past two seasons and came an overtime goal away from winning a National Championship against Matt Gilroy's Boston University in 2009. This season Miele leads the CCHA in scoring averaging two points per game.
In 34 games this season for the RedHawks, Miele has notched 61 points including 19 goals. He possesses the kind of talent that the post-lockout NHL is designed to nourish; speed, vision, hands, and supreme offensive abilities. His game and career in many ways parallel Martin St. Louis'. St. Louis also went undrafted and spent four years honing his game playing college hockey. In 36 games as a senior, St. Louis posted 60 points playing for the University of Vermont. He has since paved the way for other smaller players in the NHL and has proved that with the right skills and attitude, being undersized isn't a cause for concern. Miele is following in his footsteps.
The Rangers have explored the college free agent market before. They successfully lured former Hobey Baker winner Matt Gilroy from Boston University and I hope that they will try to do the same with Miele. Even though Miele will be 23 in April, he will be a polished prospect who could make an impact at the NHL level next season.
So please Glen, at least try to sign Miele.