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J.T. Miller Exceeding Expectations

J.T. Miller

VANCOUVER – During the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, Vancouver Canucks GM, Jim Benning made a very controversial trade. He used a conditional first round pick, a third rounder and a prospect to acquire J.T. Miller from the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Reactions were mixed to say the least after the trade announcement. Many Canucks fans were calling for Benning’s head for giving up a first rounder. Miller had been playing on Tampa Bay’s third line the previous season. Fans felt that the Lightning was looking to dump cap and that Benning overpaid.

The argument that was made in favour of the trade also seemed reasonable. Some fans reasoned that J.T. Miller was capable of much more than a third-line role. The 2018-19 Tampa Bay Lightning had a historic roster that had a top nine who should’ve all been in top six roles.

With a cap hit of $5,250,000 at the age of 26, some saw potential for a lot of a value. With 47 points last season in a fourteen minute per game role, it was an interesting prospect to wonder what he could do in a top six role. The fans who were optimistic on Miller’s arrival would ultimately be correct. His opportunity to shine and fill Vancouver’s top six void has proved fruitful thus far.

41 Games In

With last night’s chaotic 7-5 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks in the books, we are officially half way through the season. Miller had a stellar game where he produced his second four point night of the season. Since joining the team, Miller has made the most of his average 20 minutes per game. He has come up all throughout the season big like he did on January 2nd against Chicago.

Through 75 games last season Miller was able to record 13 goals with 47 total points. In only 41 games this season he has surpassed his goal total with 15 and is sitting at 40 points with lots of hockey left to play.

Miller has shown critics that on this Canucks roster he can be a very useful top six piece. He has found his niche on the ‘Lotto Line’ playing with Brock Boeser and Elias Pettersson.

Miller
Canuck forward J.T. Miller (9) celebrating with his teamates Elias Pettersson (40) and Brock Boeser (6) | Courtesy: CanucksArmy

If you couple his play on the lotto line with his work on the power play, it is hard to deny his offensive prowess. Although his offense has been great, he can also succeed at other facets of the game. He has the second best faceoff percentage in the entire NHL this season with 60.2%. Furthermore, Miller has also been able to fill in on the penalty kill when needed. It will be interesting to see if he can keep exceeding expectations.

Click Here to read about Miller’s performance earlier in the season


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Eagle Andersen
Hockey Writer from Northern British Columbia.
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