As we reported here yesterday, J.T. Miller was invited to the USA Junior Evaluation Camp. If Miller, who is one of 40 selections who were invited to camp, makes the team it will be a fantastic opportunity to prove to the New York Rangers' brass what he is made of.
Miller wasn't the only big name on the list of invitees. The group included names like Rocco Grimaldi, Tyler Biggs, Jack Campbell and even Rangers' fifth-round pick Shane McColgan.
If Miller makes the team, he will be one of the younger selections (he's only 18-years-old) on the U-20 squad. Miller, who thrived against international competition last year, will get to show that he deserved the professional contract the Rangers signed him to a few weeks ago.
This should be a perfect litmus test for a player who is supposed to have a very well rounded game. Both Sweden and FInland have some pretty solid players on their squads, and it will be good to see how Miller handles them, both offensively, defensively and physically.
Join me after the jump for more.
Miller has taken a lot of criticism since he was drafted for turning back on a verbal contract to the University of North Dakota to play for the Plymouth Whalers of the OHL. Miller also turned heads when he signed an entry level contract a few weeks ago, prompting people to think Miller is going about becoming a professional NHL players the "wrong way."
Personally, I disagree with this assessment. Miller made it very clear after he was drafted that he wanted to get to the NHL as fast as possible. Even when he seemed headed for the University of North Dakota, he vocally admitted to being on a one-year plan in the NCAA.
As far as I am concerned, it's good to see Miller doing everything he can to make the NHL. Going to the OHL, where he is nearly assured to go play next season (even though he's eligible to play in the AHL), puts him on a quicker track to the NHL than college hockey would. Plus, if he plays in the OHL this season it won't kick in the first year of his ELC.
This particular event, however, will give the Rangers a good idea of where Miller stands before training camp opens in September. As usual, you'll find all kinds of updates on both Miller and McColgan's performances.
For now, thoughts on this guys?