K'Andre Miller
AP Photo

The early returns of the 2018 draft class for the New York Rangers continue to look solid with K’Andre Miller a candidate for an award. 

Dom Renna

K’Andre Miller has been named a finalist for the Big Ten Hockey Freshman of the Year award.

The Rangers drafted Miller 22nd overall in last year’s draft and he’s put up some impressive numbers in his rookie campaign at the University of Wisconsin.

Miller scored 22 points, five goals and 17 assists, in 26 games this season but his season was cut short due to an injury. Of the defensemen drafted in the first round (in any draft), Miller leads all players in scoring through their first 26 career games at the collegiate level.

Some notable NHL players to have won the award in the past are Dylan Larkin of the Detroit Red Wings and Kyle Connor of the Winnipeg Jets.

If you take the early returns from Miller and add them into the Rangers blueline in the next few years, he looks like he can have a major impact on the NHL roster. He’s becoming a can’t miss prospect for an organization who have not had prospects like that in quite some time.

Miller’s success along with the success of Vitali Kravtsov and Nils Lundkvist in their first years since being drafted should have Rangers fans extremely excited for the future of this rebuild. Obviously, as prospects, they need to prove they can do it at the NHL level, but there is no reason not to be excited about the future.

The Rangers have two guaranteed first-round picks this year, with the possibility of having four if the conditions are met with the Dallas Stars and Tampa Bay Lightning. Those picks, along with the likes of Miller, Kravtsov, and Lundkvist, should make fans very excited about the status of this rebuild.

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Dominick is a graduate of Canisius College. He has covered the Rangers for the last seven seasons and the Yankees for the last four.