NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The snooze button could be calling on Miller Time.
The Rangers have to make a decision in the coming days on rookie center J.T. Miller, whose three-year entry-level contract will officially kick in once he plays in six games.
For those keeping score at home, Miller has four under his belt this season. If he dresses Thursday against the Islanders, the Blueshirts will have until Sunday, when they host the Washington Capitals, to decide whether to send the 19-year-old down to Connecticut.
“I can only worry about the things I can control and that’s me going out and playing the way I know how,” Miller said Wednesday, according to the New York Daily News. “Obviously, my goal here is to stay.”
Miller, the team’s first-round pick in 2011, introduced himself to the Garden faithful in a big way with two goals against the Islanders last Thursday. That came just two days after his impressive debut against the Devils in Newark.
But there’s still plenty of room for improvement. Miller wasn’t so hot in Tuesday’s shootout win against the Boston Bruins, and coach John Tortorella said Wednesday that the youngster “has a ton to learn defensively.”
“We think he’s going to be a really good player,” Tortorella said. “We’re just not sure how quickly it’s going to come. So that’s our situation as an organization — to watch that.”
Tortorella insisted the team’s decision on Miller will have “nothing to do” with struggling center Brian Boyle, who has been scratched for three straight games.
“When you’re dealing with a young kid and making sure that you go through the process in the proper way, it has nothing to do with any other player,” Tortorella said. “It has to do with him. I have to make decisions.”
Should the Rangers keep Miller around, or would sending him down be the smart play? Be heard in the comments!