Rangers first round pick K’Andre Miller has been skating and seems close to returning after suffering an injury in the second week of February.
Miller has progressed from skating in sweatpants on 2/27 to skating in a non-contact jersey on 3/6 & 3/7 and while he is doubtful for tonight’s Wisconsin game, he is on the ice and going through drills with coaches. (Todd Milewski)
Wisconsin is playing Penn State in the first round of the Big Ten playoffs with games tonight, tomorrow and Sunday if necessary.
At the time of the injury it was said that Miller was “sore” but did not sustain any ligament damage. (The Athletic)
Wisconsin termed it a lower-body injury that would continue to be evaluated. (NY Post)
Miller was expected to miss 2-3 weeks with the left leg injury and Wisconsin coach Tony Granato said that it turned out “a lot better than it could have been.” (State Journal)
Miller has five goals and 17 assists in 26 for Wisconsin as a Freshman.
Throughout the season the Rangers weekly prospect reports have had the following quotes about Miller:
- 10/22: “He reminds me a lot of Brady Skjei with his mobility. He is an elite athlete. He is going to be a top-four defenseman in the NHL.” – Rangers Director of Player Personnel, Gordie Clark
- 11/5: “He’s still learning the position but he’s way far ahead of most people at 18 years old at that position. He thinks the game well, he’s a student of the game, he’s one of those kids who’s coachable where you tell him something once and he gets it. You can’t ask any more of a player – when you’re a coach you look for certain characteristics and qualities in a kid as a person, and if you look at K’Andre you’ve got about as coachable a kid as you could ever have. He’s only been on campus for a couple months, but he’s made a huge impact on our program and on our university in a very short period of time. He’s been sensational. The kid has been everything you could ever ask for.” – University of Wisconsin Head Coach Tony Granato on K’Andre Miller
- 12/10: “I think his confidence for a young player, a freshman, and the desire from within when the game (is) on the line to want to be a part of it is really special for a young player.” – University of Wisconsin Head Coach Tony Granato on K’Andre Miller (Credit: Wisconsin State Journal)
- 12/31: “The thing I like about him is that he doesn’t have a lot of fear in his game … He’s such a wonderful young man as far as his attention to wanting to get better. … He’ll continue to get better in a real hurry if he continues to have that mentality.” – U.S. National Junior Team Head Coach Mike Hastings on K’Andre Miller
- 1/21: “The poise of this kid, for a freshman defenseman, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it since I’ve been doing this broadcasting.” – Former NHL/AHL/NCAA player and current NCAA Hockey Broadcaster Colby Cohen on K’Andre Miller, following Miller’s goal against Notre Dame on Jan. 18
- 1/28: “The skill part – the size, the mobility, and the skill set – you can see. What you don’t see as a fan is the work ethic, the competitiveness, and the kid himself, and why he is so special for an 18-year-old and a freshman. As a coach, when you recruit, you’re looking for character to go along with the skill, and when you think you find one of those guys, you get real excited. Well, he’s lived up to it and gone beyond on what he has meant to us in the locker room and in our group as far as what he brings to the table. He’s special. His growth, and (his) development, has been progressive as the year has gone along. The time at the World Juniors was special for him and helped him from a confidence standpoint of being able to play for Team USA as an underage player in that tournament. He’s on his way to being the player that the Rangers expected when they drafted him and what we expected when we recruited him; to be an elite player that can dominate right out of the gate, and he’s been able to do that.” – University of Wisconsin Head Coach Tony Granato on K’Andre Miller