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NHL Prospect Profile: K'Andre Miller

AJ Haefele Avatar
June 4, 2018

Statistics

Scout Quotes

Talented two-way defenseman with top-pairing upside who is committed to the University of Wisconsin. A strong skater with very good speed, Miller generates a lot of power into his stride and is starting to beat both opposing forwards and defenders to the outside. His stick and body positioning in the neutral zone are exceptional, and you can count on Miler to intercept more than a handful of cross-zone passes that he quickly transitions into rushes the other way. His ability to make clean passes on either his forehand or backhand, plus the manner in which he sharply pivots his way into bigger openings might explain how such a big and physical defenseman is only a few years removed from being a forward. – The Draft Analyst

Miller is a bit of a project, but one with high upside. Expect for him to spend at least two years at the NCAA level, and perhaps a year in the AHL after that. With good coaching he can be a highly effective defenceman at both ends of the ice. As mentioned, putting a ceiling on him is difficult, as he is still learning the position and has come so far, in such a short time. The tools are there, and it will be up to his coaches to refine them.- Last Word on Hockey

AJ’s Thoughts

Definitely one of my favorites in this entire draft class, Miller is a very intriguing player. He’s fun to watch because you’ll see him show flashes of the forward he used to be but now he’s doing it from the back end. He’s a great athlete and his agility flashes on the rare occasions when Miller gets beat and is forced to recover. He has excellent size, moves great, and has legit two-way ability. He’s disruptive with his stick and can be a physical force if the situation calls for it, giving him a well-rounded defensive game despite being as raw as he is.

He’s headed to Wisconsin to join a loaded recruiting class and because he’s only been playing defense for two years he should be a guy that stays at least two, probably three years with the Badgers. After playing on a loaded blue line with the USNDTP, Miller will get a chance to shine away from talents who have been competing with him for time and opportunities. He should eventually work his way on to both the PP and PK units for the Badgers and how he develops in both areas will determine just how high his ceiling really is.

He has a chance to become a dominant player at the next level because his raw tools offer so much tantalizing potential. I’ve loved watching him play this season and I think he could be a special player down the road if all those tools come together.

Highlights

Avalanche Fit

Given the glowing words I said about him earlier, I’m not about to say he’s any kind of a bad fit for the Avalanche. He’s a potential beast whose two-way ability is already impressive but has the potential to be outstanding. He would combine with Zadorov and Girard to form one of the NHL’s most skilled and intimidating left sides of a defense and it would provide the kind of talent Colorado has lacked since it’s days of Stanley Cup contention. Miller would be a slow burn and after the Will Butcher situation, many Avs fans would be uncomfortable with the concept of allowing a player to enjoy three, maybe four years of college development before turning pro. He would be a home run style pick for Colorado at 16. If they moved down to the 20s, it would be a lot more comfortable taking him there. That said, given his helium as the draft approaches, he may be gone before the Avs even get a chance.

Rankings

#20 Hockey Prospect
#20 Future Considerations
#14 McKeen’s Hockey

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