'11 Draft: #18 J.T. Miller
18. J.T. Miller - U.S. NTDP, LW, 6'1, 198 lbs
Rankings Round Up:
NHL Central Scouting: 17 North American Skater
International Scouting Service: 17th
The Hockey News: 59th
Poll of Scouting Contacts: 20th
Scout's Take: "He works extremely hard and moves very well but I think he has a limited upsize. I'm not saying he won't play at the next level but I think he is better suited to be a 3rd liner, not a top six guy. He isn't going to put up big numbers because he just doesn't have the natural finish but he can become a thorn in the sides of opposing teams "
Nielson's Take: I understand what the scouts are saying about JT Miller. If you need a guy who will bring energy, work hard, crash and bang then he is your guy. I just have a hard time believing that you really want to use a first round pick on a guy who's upside is a 3rd liner. If these were simply my individual rankings I don't think Miller would be in the top thirty but the way I put them together he ends up at #18. I could see him sliding into the second round.
Stat Zone: 48gp - 11g - 26a - 37pts - 80 pim
Projection: Third Line Forward
Interesting Note: He is afraid of goats. Not ghosts...goats.
Oilers Odds: I just don't see the Oilers using the 19th overall pick on him and even if he is still on the board at 31 there will probably be better options.
I am once again going to be fortunate enough to cover the NHL Entry Draft. The first draft I covered was in Vancouver in 2006 and I haven't missed one since with stops in Columbus, Ottawa, Montreal and Los Angeles. We will be doing our show live in Minnesota on Thursday, June 23rd and Friday, June 24th.
Before I get into how I put my rankings together I just want to remind everyone that The Pipeline Show is the best place to find all of the information you are looking for on prospects. Dean Millard and Guy Flaming provide the best year round coverage of the entry draft and their blog COMING DOWN THE PIPE is a must read. You can listen to The Pipeline Show from 7-9 on Tuesday nights and 10-Noon on Saturday mornings on the Team 1260.
Prior to joining the Team 1260 in August of 2009 I spent about 6 years working forHockey's Future.com where I hosted a weekly online prospects show and provided video coverage of the entry draft as well. It was during my time with HF that I developed some great relationships with a variety of NHL and Independent scouts who I call upon from time to time to give me their thoughts on the upcoming crop of prospects.
I am never fortunate enough to watch all of the eligible prospects as much as I would like so I rely on YouTube and online webcasts to get a look at the prospects. In addition to my own limited viewing I put a lot of stock into the opinion of the scouts that I have relationships with and selected draft guides that are made available to the media and fans.
I put together my rankings by using a combination of polling the four scouts I talk to regularly and a few well respected NHL Draft guides. As with most members of the media the scouts I deal with provide me with their own individual rankings on one condition, they remain anonymous. I'm lucky enough to have a nice mix in my four go to guys with one being a scout for an Eastern conference team, one from the West and two independent scouts.
I've crunched the numbers, viewed the videos as much as I can, spoke with the scouts and read the guides and here is how I would slot the Top 30 Prospects eligible for the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. (THIS IS NOT A MOCK DRAFT)
Positions, height and weight are taken from The Hockey News Draft Preview
Interesting Notes were taken from NHL.com