The New York Rangers and J.T. Miller are very soon going to be at a crossroads. The Rangers have five games to see what they need to see in regards to J.T. Miller. The moment he suits up for his sixth game he become ineligible to have his ELC slide a year and the first year automatically burns off.
Tonight the Rangers will take on the New York Islanders and try to extend their three-game winning streak. It also happens to be the fifth and final game before the Rangers are forced to make a decision on Miller.
To this point the Rangers have seen both good and bad things from Miller. Like any rookie there are expected growing pains Miller will go through regardless of when he stays full-time. But Miller has also shown some serious potential as well, and he certianly hasn't made this decision easy for John Tortorella or the Rangers brass.
Which brings us to the very obvious question: Would you keep Miller up with the Rangers even though it burn a year off his ELC?
My guess is the Rangers will. I think Miller brings speed and an all-around game to the Rangers fourth line. He also makes things happen when he's on the ice, and brings it every single shift. He's shown some good chemistry with Chris Kreider and his forechecking has been a revelation at times these past four games.
Tonight will be a big test for Miller. He's coming off an admittedly tough game against the Boston Bruins and he's going to have a lot of pressure on him because it's his final game before a decision needs to be made about his future. That's a lot for a young man to handle, and how he handles that situation might play a huge role in Tortorella's decision to keep him up with the Rangers or send him down to the Connecticut Whale.
Either way, it should be interesting to see how he responds tonight.