The New York Rangers are going to be facing a decision after tonight’s game with the New York Islanders. What should the team do with rookie J.T. Miller? Miller, the last time these two rivals matched up, scored two goals in his first game at Madison Square Garden.
Because of the truncated season, teams only get five games to look at their young players and decided whether to start the process on their three year entry-level contract or wait until next year to do so. Miller has only registered points in the Islander game, but that’s not the whole story. The line of him with Chris Kreider and Ryan Callahan has been impressive so far.
To me, the decision comes down to what the team thinks of Brian Boyle. If they feel like Boyle can step back in and block shots and play good defense and score here and there, then Miller should go back down to the minors to get some more experience. He’s only 19 and has a long career ahead of him. The Rangers won’t trade the farm like they once did (Rick Nash deal as an exception) so I expect Miller to be around for a long time.
I think it may be best for his development to go back to the minors. He’s only 19 and can work a little more on his defense. He has played well in his four games, but if he stays with the club, he has to play, and can’t be a healthy scratch.
Like a baseball team that doesn’t want to call up a top prospect to start his arbitration clock too soon, the Rangers may take a similar path with Miller.