The Rangers selected 6-1, 190-pound left winger J.T. Miller from the U.S. developmental team with the 15th overall pick in the first round of the draft.
Miller scored 11 goals and 26 assists in 48 games for the USA Under-18 team, and added 4-9-13 to lead the team at the World U-18 championships.
Here are some remarks from Gordie Clark, from Steve Zipay’s Blue Notes blog:
At 15, Clark, the team’s director of player personnel said, “there was no one (on the board) that had all the qualities that JT had. There could be someone who will score more goals, there could be somebody that’s going to be a faster skater, but if you want to put size with skating with character with grit with work ethic with playmaking ability and scoring ability, no one had all those qualities in their game. He had them all.”
Here is one from the Blue Seat Blog, more recently.
Prior to making the pick the Rangers honored fallen enforcer Derek Boogaard. His brother, Aaron, was brought to the podium to make the selection, and received a loud standing ovation.
The official announcement from the Rangers:
RANGERS SELECT J.T. MILLER IN 2011 NHL DRAFT
U.S. National Development Team forward chosen 15th overall
New York, June 24, 2011 – New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has selected forward J.T. Miller with the 15th overall pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
Miller, 18, led Team USA in scoring with 13 points in six tournament contests en route to capturing the gold medal at the 2011 IIHF U-18 World Junior Championship in Germany. He tied for third among all tournament skaters in points, fourth in assists (nine), sixth in goals (four), and seventh with a plus-eight rating. Miller was selected by tournament coaches as Team USA’s top player during the elite tournament after leading Team USA in points and assists, and finishing second on the team in goals and plus/minus rating.
The East Palestine, Ohio native skated in 48 games with the U.S. National Under-18 Team (USHL) last season, registering 11 goals and 26 assists for 37 points, along with 80 penalty minutes. Miller established USHL career-highs in games played, assists, points, and penalty minutes, and ranked third on the team in points, and second in assists and penalty minutes. He also established career-highs with two shorthanded goals and three game-winning goals, and notched a USA U-18 career best, two power play goals. His two shorthanded goals tied for the team lead, while his three game-winning goals tied for fourth on the club.
Internationally, Miller registered three goals and eight assists for 11 points in eight contests at the Four Nations Cup in Sundsvall, Sweden and the Five Nations Tournament in Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic. He notched two goals and three assists for five points in four games at the 2010 Four Nations Cup from November 10-14. In addition, Miller tallied six points (one goal, five assists) in four games at the 2011 Five Nations Tournament from February 7-13. He led all tournament skaters with five assists, and ranked seventh in scoring with six points.
The 6-1, 200-pounder has appeared in 95 career games over two seasons with the U.S. National Development Team (USHL), registering 26 goals and 42 assists for 68 points, along with 159 penalty minutes. Miller entered the 2011 NHL Entry Draft as the third-highest ranked U.S.-born skater and 23rd overall among North American skaters in the final Central Scouting Rankings.