Rangers Excited For J.T. Miller

Newsday‘s Steve Zipay today gave a little preview into what Ranges fans and the organization itself should expect from 2011 first-round pick J.T. Miller, who is playing with the Plymouth Whalers of the OHL.

The 6-1, 200 pound center has amassed 40 points in 38 games this season, while missing seven games to play in the World Junior Championships earlier this month.

The comparisons should make Rangers fans very excited to see the kid play. “He has Tonelli-type tenacity,” said Gordie Clark, the team’s director of player personnel, referring to the Islanders’ John Tonelli, who won four Stanley Cups with the team in the 1980s. “Mike Richards is another good comparison, although Richards probably scores more. J.T. is a playmaker who finishes every check. He doesn’t have that beautiful stride like [Marian] Gaborik. He beats you by outworking you.”

Zipay points out that the Rangers have built a core of American born players, and Miller, from East Palestine, Ohio, could join that group once he comes to New York, maybe a year or two away. The team currently has seven U.S.-born players in the lineup, and the organization’s top prospect, Chris Kreider, will be turning pro this summer and could make the lineup out of camp next season.

Miller signed a three-year entry-level deal with the Rangers this summer.

A lot of people were confused as to why the Rangers took Miller so early (15th) in first-round, but it appears he’s the type of player the organization has been building around. He plays a hard-nosed, North American style game, which has become this team’s identity. Along with Kreider, I can’t wait to see Miller on Broadway in the coming years.

Follow Matt on Twitter @MattCalamia

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