Tuesday afternoon the Rangers assigned rookie forward J.T. Miller to the Connecticut Whale of the American Hockey League. Miller had not played in a game with the Rangers in eight days, since last Monday's 4-2 win over the Jets at The Garden. He was scratched in the last four as he rested and rehabbed a sore left wrist, and after head coach John Tortorella made the decision to play a more veteran lineup following last Wednesday's NHL trade deadline.
Tortorella, who has been full of praise for the just-turned-20-year-old Miller, was concerned over the last week or two that Miller---and fellow rookie Chris Kreider who was sent to the Whale last week---may not be ready for the importance of playing must-win games on a nightly basis as the Rangers wind down their 2013 schedule still seeking to secure a playoff berth.
Miller, the Rangers top pick in the 2011 NHL Draft, had two goal, two assists, four points and eight penalty minutes in 26 games with the Rangers. He was also a minus seven and had not scored since netting a pair of goals against the Islanders in his second NHL game back on February 7th.
It has been a tremendous year of growth and success for Miller. He was selected to play in the AHL All-Star Game for his strong work with the Whale, helped lead the United States to the gold medal at the 2013 World Junior Championships---tying for the team lead in points, and then made his NHL debut at the age of 19 on February 5th in New Jersey.
The Rangers are now carrying 22 players on their active roster.
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