LAKE PLACID, NY - AUGUST 10: Pathrik Vesterholm #29 of Team Sweden exchanges pushes with J.T. Miller #28 of Team USA at the Lake Placid Olympic Center on August 10, 2011 in Lake Placid, New York. Team Sweden defeated Team USA 4-1.(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
The USA World Junior team announced their first cuts today, which saw 11 players packing their bags, and heading home for the summer. Among the 34 players that were retained, were New York Rangers prospects, J.T. Miller, Brady Skjei, and Steven Fogarty.
Team USA had split a pair of games yesterday as the Blue Team was able to defeat Finland 5-4, while the White team suffered a sizable 5-1 loss to Sweden. J.T. Miller was apart of the White team in their loss to Sweden, but according to Chris Peters of United States of Hockey, Miller still put together a solid game.
The lone returning forward from last year’s WJC team, Miller showed why he’s going to be a key to the team in the World Juniors this year. The maturity in his game from last summer to this summer is prevalent. Miller showed great poise with the puck, using his body when he needed to, but keeping his eye on his outlets.
Brady Skjei also got on the scoresheet in Blue's victory over Finland, as he recorded a single assist in their 5-4 victory. Overall, this is great news for the Rangers organization. Three players are moving on, and are gaining more, and more experience as they go. J.T. Miller almost sounds like a lock to make this years team, while Brady Skjei and Steven Fogarty continue to impress.