The New York Rangers acquired forward Vladislav Namestnikov in a package deal that sent J.T. Miller and Ryan McDonagh to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Comparisons are already coming in between Miller and Namestnikov.
Its almost been a week since the New York Rangers sent beloved captain Ryan McDonagh and forward J.T. Miller away. It was tough to see the two go, but it was time for the Rangers to move on and work on a rebuild.
Vladislav Namestnikov is one of the first new faces of the rebuild. Namestnikov was part of the haul the Rangers got in exchange for McDonagh and Miller.
There is a lot to consider when you try and put forward Miller side by side with newly acquired forward Namestnikov.
About the two
Namestnikov and Miller were both drafted in the first round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. Miller was taken 15th overall by the Rangers and Namestnikov 27th by the Lightning. Miller made his career debut in 2012-2013, playing less than 30 games. Namestnikov played four games in 2013-2014.
Comparing Miller and Namestnikov’s career history is tough considering the disparity in the amount of games played. Namestnikov is about 115 days older than Miller, but has played 78 regular season games less than Miller has.
Namestnikov has 21 goals and 25 assists through 65 games (62 with the Lightning), and Miller has 14 goals and 29 assists through 66 games (63 with the New York Rangers). In regards to CF, Namestnikov has a 51.6% and Miller has a 46.9% but keep in mind the Lightning are a much better puck possession team than the Rangers.
It’s no secret that the New York Rangers were disappointed with the way Miller performed in the playoffs. In 40 playoff games ranging from 2014-2017, Miller notched just 16 points including one goal.
Namestnikov has a much smaller sample size. He played in 29 games and had just four points. However, his average time on the ice in the playoffs is a meager 9:16. Miller averaged 14:52 in the playoffs for the New York Rangers.
Pros for the Rangers
The pros of having Namestnikov over Miller come down to how Namestnikov has looked better recently than Miller has.
This is Namestnikov’s first season averaging more than 15:00 per game, and he hasn’t had any playoff experience with a role like this yet. The Rangers have seen what Miller could do in the role they wanted him in, considering he has been playing it for three years.
Namestnikov has already exceeded his career high in points with over 15 games to go in the season. The new environment hasn’t slowed him down either, he has two points in his first three games as a New York Ranger.
The real test will come when the Rangers are more competitive and in the next coming years. For now, its nice to see Namestnikov getting better every day.