2011 NHL Draft: J.T. Miller Discusses Being Drafted by the Rangers
Here's the transcript of Rangers first-round draft pick J.T. Miller's meeting with the media after being drafted, courtesy of the NHL...
Q. Your impressions of being drafted by the Rangers?
JONATHAN MILLER: It's an unbelievable honor, an original six team, a great state to play in. It will be great to hopefully play there soon.
Q. How far away are you from getting to the NHL? What do you have to do to get to the NHL?
JONATHAN MILLER: I have to get a little stronger and faster and be able to play with some men out there. I have to work out in the off-season and play this next year in North Dakota and see what happens there.
Q. From the look on your face, you might have been a little shocked that you went to the Rangers in this spot?
JONATHAN MILLER: I was a little shocked. I only had one meeting with them. So I wasn't really expecting it. But getting my name called was the best thing in the world, and I couldn't thank them enough.
Q. What do you think they like about you so much?
JONATHAN MILLER: I think I'm a pretty competitive kid. I always want to compete and I'm pretty hard to play against, so I think that's my best attribute.
Q. Have you been to Manhattan or New York City a lot?
JONATHAN MILLER: I've only been there once. I went to Ground Zero there with my family. That is the only thing I checked out when I was little. To get a little more insight on the state will be great.
Q. Did you learn anything from the other Pittsburgh guys by being one of the first from the group to go?
JONATHAN MILLER: No, they're all going to get drafted. I've got a good feeling about it. They're going to go high. I can't wait for them to get drafted. To be first is a cool feeling, I guess. But it doesn't really matter with those guys, but they're a great group of guys and they're going to go high.
Q. Did you talk about specifically what you're going to work on this summer?
JONATHAN MILLER: I'm going to get stronger, I guess, probably conditioning, getting in a little better shape so I can last a little longer with the stronger guys, to be able to compete at my best and be successful doing it.
More after the jump....
Q. In your meeting with the Rangers…
JONATHAN MILLER: Yeah, I think they liked me. There were other teams that showed a little more interest toward me. So it was a little bit of a shock. But to get my name called was breathtaking and the best feeling.
Q. What about your last season? Could you talk about your last season in the USHL, what that was like?
JONATHAN MILLER: Yeah, we got used to it the first season we played, and the second season came a little bit easier. But they're a tough group of guys, and I think it's great that the program went into that league, to be honest. I think everybody will be stronger and more competitive coming out of the program now which is great.
Q. What are your expectations for next season?
JONATHAN MILLER: I'd like to be a top guy that can be relied on to produce. I'll be a guy that works hard just like they do. I'm excited to play there. It will be a great experience for me.
Q. Excited about New York?
JONATHAN MILLER: Yeah, it's going to be hopefully great playing there. I've got a lot of family coming in hopefully one day. I've gotten to watch the Rangers play a lot being in the Pens' Division, I guess.
Growing up in Pittsburgh is outstanding and I think more and more guys will come out of there like this year.
Q. Why do you think the quality of play in Pittsburgh, young players coming up has been so good? You talk about quantity and so many of you guys, but here you are 15th overall?
JONATHAN MILLER: Yeah, this is a great birth year, so I think there will be a bunch more names called tonight or tomorrow. I think there is hope for some young guys coming out of there too, younger than us, that can have some hope being in the situation we're in. So I think it's going to get better and better every year.
Q. Growing up in the Pittsburgh area, a football crazy region, what made you choose hockey?
JONATHAN MILLER: Well, my dad was -- I was the first one to play in my family. My dad saw the Pens win the Cup in '92, so he wanted me to pick up a hockey stick. Who knows if they wouldn't have won, I may not be sitting here now.
Q. Do you have a favorite Penguin moment?
JONATHAN MILLER: Yeah, when they won the Cup a few years back was pretty emotional for me. It was awesome. I've been waiting for 15 years of my life for that to happen. I've been rooting for them since I can remember.
Q. Do you have a favorite Ranger moment?
JONATHAN MILLER: Not really, no. Yeah, that one right there is probably it.