2011 First-Rounder J.T. Miller Chooses OHL

J.T. Miller, the Rangers' 2011 first-round selection, will skate for the OHL's Plymouth Whalers next season (rangers.nhl.com)

Jonathan ‘J.T.’ Miller, the Rangers’ first-round selection at 15th overall in last month’s Entry Draft, has chosen to forgo his previous commitment to North Dakota and play for the Ontario Hockey League’s Plymouth Whalers in 2011/12 instead.

The Whalers hold Miller’s CHL rights after selecting him in the fifth-round of the 2009 OHL draft. Though he would have been heavily relied upon by North Dakota, his commitment to the Fighting Sioux was never considered to be that strong and thus this decision doesn’t come as a huge surprise.

The Whalers already have two 2011 first-round picks on their roster, Ottawa’s Stefan Noesen and Anaheim’s Richard Rakell, so Miller will be amongst good company next season. His eagerness to play in the OHL instead of going the NCAA route is another indicator of his determination to progress as quickly as possible, though with North Dakota’s strong record of developing young talent it will take time to evaluate whether this ends up being the correct decision for Miller and the Rangers.

Tags: CHL Fighting Sioux J.T. Miller Jonathan Miller New York Rangers OHL Plymouth Whalers

  • http://thecollegehockeyblog.com fetch

    granted I am a Sioux fan so maybe take this with a grain of salt, but sucks to be you guys

  • Alex Nunn

    @fetch Hey fetch, care to elaborate a little on why you think that? Would be good to hear an opinion from a Sioux fan…

  • http://thecollegehockeyblog.com fetch

    sure no prob. I don’t think Miller has much to his game right now except for being just a hitter/grinder/big body type guy and while I think he has the upside to develop the ability to score and develop into a 2nd liner, by going to the OHL he’s not really going to be able to get better at those things by playing against younger kids or kids his own age, most of whom will be smaller and less physical than him.

    In college he would have been forced to go against older guys and try to score goals in ways other than standing big in front of the net (which is a good ability to have obviously, but those guys can be found places that aren’t the first round of a draft). It just seems to me that by going to the OHL he is content to be a 3rd rounder for his whole career.

  • http://www.joebertino.com/ joebertino

    @fetch @Alex Nunn Come to think of it, those years at Wisconsin definitely helped Stepan develop at a faster rate. It seems to me that the OHL is a stepping stone to Hartford first, and then the Garden (i.e. Callahan). But, maybe Christian Thomas will prove me wrong. Also, maybe I’m off here, but I think he was drafted to be a grinder like most other guys in our lineup. The American kid grinder / Nordic kid playmaker seems to be the future of our squad.