July 14, 2011
Brad Elliott Schlossman, who covers the Sioux for the Grand Forks Herald, received word from UND head coach Dave Hakstol who confirmed Miller would not be joining his program.
The native of East Palestine, Ohio, was selected 15th overall by the Rangers in this year's NHL Entry Draft after spending last year with the U.S. National Team Development Program.
He was among the top three scorers with 15 goals and 35 assists for 50 points in 56 games.
As Chris Dilks of the Western College Hockey Blog points out, Miller's commitment to North Dakota was never that solid to begin with:
Heading into the NHL Draft, Miller was among the least firm in being willing to stick to his college commitment, so this news doesn't come as a huge shock.
Plymouth head coach and GM Mike Vellucci was unavailable for comment on Thursday afternoon, though sources within the organization say Miller as a member of the Whalers isn't quite official yet.
UPDATE: Mike Vellucci sent the following response on Thursday night, "I have nothing to report on JT (Miller)."
The Whalers took the 6-foot-1, 193-pound forward in the fifth-round (93rd overall) of the 2009 OHL draft.
Considering how tough the OHL's Western Conference is to begin with, landing Miller would be a big get for the Whalers who already have the likes of recently drafted forwards Stefan Noesen, Rickard Rakell and Garrett Meurs in their lineup.
Miller's NTDP teammate Rocco Grimaldi, who was taken in the second round of June's NHL draft by the Florida Panthers, has also committed to North Dakota. According to Gordie Clark, the Rangers' director of player personnel, it was Miller's play with the diminutive Grimaldi helped sell the Rangers on the offensive potential their pick held.
"He's very underrated as a goal scorer," Clark told The New York Times. "The Grimaldi kid got all the goals, but he was giving him all the passes. When he gets it back, he can score goals."