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.