K'Andre Miller
ESNY Graphics, AP Photo

New York Rangers 2018 first-round pick K’Andre Miller announces he’ll play another year at Wisconsin which means he completely gets it. 

Frank Curto

K‘Andre Miller, 6-foot-3, 210 pounds, is a sight to see standing on the blueline. The New York Rangers first-round pick, 22nd overall, has looked good while participating on the first two days of drills at the team’s development camp in Stamford, CT.

Though he suffered a knee injury in the second half of his season while playing for Wisconsin, Miller enjoyed a successful freshman campaign. A knee injury gave him and head coach Tony Granato some concern at first; but luckily, the injury was not serious and he is practicing at full capacity this week at camp.

Miller recorded 22 points in 26 games prior to his injury, but the smart defenseman recognized he wasn’t at 100 percent a month later, and decided, along with his college team, to stay off the ice for the rest of the season.

K’Andre has no intentions of being with the Rangers next season. The defenseman recognizes the opportunity he has to win a national championship and that is what he plans to do regardless of how well he performs with the big club this summer.

“I would want to stay another year, to be honest. It’s a great school,” Miller said to Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post. “With those guys that are coming in this year to improve our team, it should be pretty special. Hope to make a good run.”

As disappointing as it may feel for Rangerstown, the move actually reveals terrific information about the youngster.

Its a smart move for him, as he is a left-handed defenseman. The Rangers are stacked on the blue line and on the left side, in particular. They currently employ four players on the big-boy roster, Libor Hajek, Brady Skjei, Brendan Smith and Marc Staal.

This is another way Miller is displaying his patience. He is smart not to rush the process, at least for another season. He understands the lack of playing time that would come with a promotion to the team now as opposed to waiting out another year or two, trying to win a national title while getting a better grip of a very tough position to play in the NHL.

His attitude is one that many players in college need to emulate.

“I’m not in any rush in college; I love it there,” he told Cyrgalis.

The time will come when the Rangers need to have K’Andre with the club and as part of their organization. For now, the college experience is so much more important as are his own personal goals.

For the remainder of this week, he will continue to learn from the coaches at camp. Tanner Glass, former Rangers tough guy, is one such coach. The newly-hired scout was on the ice Tuesday, working with every prospect.

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday will be scrimmage days for Miller and his new teammates—a time to show what they have learned and have a little fun, perhaps.

Rangers head coach David Quinn will be in attendance for the games, most likely taking hard looks at players like Kaapo Kakko, Vitali Kravtsov and Igor Shesterkin.

Miller, too, will be looked at, along with the rest of the prospects on the ice. Yet, Miller really has no pressure on him because of his plan.

The tall defenseman will skate his game, listen and learn from the mistakes he makes and then pack up and head home to Minnesota where he can prepare for a run to the NCAA Frozen Four next season.

You have to admire when a plan comes together. That very plan will have K’Andre Miller wearing a New York Rangers sweater in the near future.

But not this coming year, unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it).

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A graduate of St. John's University class of '91. I have been a fan of the New York Rangers since the days of Peter Puck. Founder of Ranger Proud, the Facebook page that covers all news, notes, pre /post-game stats, and player quotes. I can be reached at Nyrfc12@gmail.com