The Edmonton Oilers got a win today, signing skill F Andrew Miller from Yale. The undersized player was a sought after free agent and could be a plug and play if he can make the grade come fall. He is an older prospect (24) so there’s a small window of opportunity.
- Corey Pronman: The 24 year old center is a classic small, skilled college player. Miller displays above-average qualities in terms of his speed, puck skills and overall offensive instincts. In his Senior season especially he showed the ability to consistently create scoring chances and keep the play flowing in the right direction.
- United States of Hockey: The captain of the newly-crowned national champions, Miller has had success at just about every level he has played. Downgraded because of his size over the years, Miller never got picked up in the draft despite being a consistent offensive producer. He never finished with fewer than 35 points in a season over his four year career in Yale and is a former USHL MVP, having posted 82 points in his last season in the top junior circuit in the U.S. At 5-8, 170, his size may concern some NHL GMs, but his outstanding offensive capabilities could make him a savvy pickup for Edmonton. He scored a career best 18 goals, including the overtime game-winner in the national semifinal against UMass-Lowell. He also added 23 assists to tie for the team lead with 41 points.
Miller is listed as a right-winger, and a guess would have him here on the depth chart:
- Jordan Eberle
- Nail Yakupov
- Ales Hemsky
- Mike Brown
- Toni Rajala
- Andrew Miller
- Tyler Pitlick
- Cameron Abney
Ryan Jones is UFA, and there are at least a couple of LW’s (Paajarvi, Hartikainen) who can play either side–plus some centermen. Of course, the pro roster is going to see some changes, so depth charts are a moving target.
How big a signing is this one? No idea. I can say that it is very encouraging to see the Oilers pursue college players and it is very clear this has been a priority in recent years. As an example, here are the college signings by Edmonton over the last 3 years:
- March 8, 2011: Oilers sign Taylor Fedun from Princeton.
- March 19, 2011: Oilers sign Tanner House from Maine.
- March 31, 2011: Oilers sign Hunter Tremblay from University of New Brunswick.
- July 1, 2012: Oilers sign Justin Schultz from Wisconsin.
- April 17, 2013: Oilers sign Andrew Miller from Yale.
So far, only Schultz has played for the Oilers, but Fedun is progressing and could find his way to the NHL at some point in time. Miller is 5 months younger than Fedun, so his time is soon.
Miller’s NHLE (82, 16-21-37) is perhaps the most encouraging item. I’d guess he’ll be a top 20 prospect on the summer list.