J.T. Miller will start the season playing wing
Miller won’t be playing center, and that opens the door for Chytil or Andersson to make the team.
After much discussion and uncertainty it sounds like the Rangers are headed into the 2017-18 season with J.T. Miller at wing - not at center. Miller is coming off of a career-year and was given the opportunity to move back to his natural position this preseason.
#NYR head coach Alain Vigneault said J.T. Miller will start the season at wing.— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) September 25, 2017
J.T. Miller on AV saying he'll return to wing to start season: "Nothing changes for me. We play a 5-guy structure. We're on the same page."— Steve Zipay (@stevezipay) September 25, 2017
To add some intrigue and drama to that official announcement, Steve Zipay reported that head coach Alain Vigneault made it clear that the plays of other centers influenced his decision to keep Miller at wing.
Reversal: AV says JT Miller will start season on wing, not C because of the play of other centers— Steve Zipay (@stevezipay) September 25, 2017
So, who are those other centers?
Veteran David Desharnais and both of the Rangers 18-year-old rookie centers have been impressive in the preseason thus far. But this is a game of musical chairs. And there are only so many roster spots to go around. Most would agree that Filip Chytil has been the biggest storyline of the preseason. But Andersson has also built a case to step into the role of third line center with his plucky, balanced game.
Both Chytil and Andersson will be in the Rangers lineup tonight against the Flyers and Zipay reports that they will likely be on the ice again tomorrow. This could be a head-to-head competition for the role of third line center between the Rangers two first round picks. Of course, Cristoval Nieves is also a part of the discussion, especially if the Blueshirts like Desharnais on the third line.