K'Andre Miller has been patiently waiting for his NHL debut.
Miller, who signed an entry-level contract last March, spent two years with the University of Wisconsin, and donned the USA jersey in the World Junior Championships twice.
Now, he seems to be just three days shy of finally wearing the Rangers sweater in game time.
“Obviously it’s been a long time coming," Miller said. "Honestly, I don’t think I’ve played a game since the first or second week of March, so it’s all coming full circle, coming around pretty quick.
"Just trying to keep my mind clear, do what I can here, learn as much as I can from the older guys that have been here and been through it. Just play how I’ve been playing, hopefully the season comes around quick and we get started.”
The Rangers' second pick of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft (22nd overall) turns 21 years old next week, but his age isn't stopping him from being a force to be reckoned with at the big stage.
"I think I've never been so prepared for a season," the former Badger said, who added his confidence is "at an all-time high."
“What has impressed me is how calm he’s been," said head coach David Quinn. "He’s worked hard, he’s closed down people, he’s made real good decisions with the puck. From a defending standpoint, he’s like a preying mantis with that stick in his arms and his legs. He’s tough to get around - you think you have him beat, but there he is with his stick. There’s just an awful lot to like about him, and let’s not overlook his elite skating for a guy that size.”
Quinn said that Miller is likely to be on the opening night roster, and he's been paired up with veteran defenseman Jacob Trouba in practice.
"He’s already kind of taken me under his wing, We’ve just been talking, any questions that I have, he’s always right there next to me on the bench. He’s a really reliable guy to go to for any questions, and his support has been unreal," Miller said.
The Rangers kick off their season on Thursday against the Islanders at Madison Square Garden at 7 p.m.