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ON CAMPUS A look at the area college sports scene

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Yale's Miller signs with Edmonton Oilers

This comes from the Edmonton Journal

Give the Edmonton Oilers credit after they kept swinging in their quest to sign a college free agent this spring.
With their fourth swing at the plate, the Oilers signed Yale captain/forward Andrew Miller to a one-year, entry-level contract on Wednesday.
The Oilers tried hard to sign Western Michigan captain/defenceman Danny DeKeyser, but he opted to stay close to home, going with the Detroit Red Wings. Right now, he’s surprisingly played an average of 17-1/2 minutes a game the last six games.
Yale's Andrew Miller hoists the NCAA championship trophy

Edmonton also went after Quinnipiac University goalie Eric Hartzell, but the Pittsburgh Penguins got him.
They were seriously in the hunt for six-foot-four Yale centre Antoine Laganiere, Miller’ teammate, who was at the Oilers prospect camp last summer, but the Anaheim Ducks grabbed him.
Miller, 24, was the most outstanding player in the NCAA’s Frozen Four tournament when Yale knocked off Quinnipiac in the final.
And he’s not five-foot-eight and 170 pounds as the crack hockeydb.com website says. He is five-foot-10 and 180 pounds, not exactly what the Oilers are looking for — they want to get bigger at forward – but Oilers new GM Craig MacTavish also knows that playing an uptempo game with skill is important.
“He’s not big, but he’s strong on the puck and he’s got great hockey sense. He’s a real cerebral player,” said MacTavish.
Miller, who had a breakaway goal against Hartzell to make it 3-0 in the third period of the final game of the Frozen Four at the Consol Energy Center, won’t join the Oilers’ Oklahoma City Barons American Hockey League affiliate right now as they try to hold on to a playoff spot in the AHL’s Western Conference. But he’ll be at the Oilers prospect camp on July 2, then the rookie camp and the main camp in September. He has been told he’ll likely start in the AHL next fall.
But MacTavish likes what he sees from Miller, who plays centre or the wing.
“He’s got the puck the whole time. He scored an overtime goal against my alma mater (Lowell-Mass, in the NCAA semifinal), going five-hole, then in the final buried the third goal (4-0 win), going five-hole again.”
Miller, a political science major, had 41 points in 37 games for Yale this season as they won their first national title.
He played junior hockey with the Chicago Steel in the USHL with current NHLers John Moore (New York Rangers) and Jamie Oleksiak (Dallas Stars) and the sons of retired NHLers Chris (Dean) Chelios, Mike (Alex) Krushelnyski and Ulf (Philip) Samuelsson.
“One of the best playmakers I’ve seen. His vision is incredible,” said Yale coach Keith Allain, who used to be an NHL assistant coach with the Washington Capitals and goalie coach for the St. Louis Blues. He was also part of Team USA at the 2006 Winter Olympics.
“Andrew’s goal in overtime (stealing the puck, going around a defenceman and tucking it home against Lowell-Mass. in the NCAA semifinal) was probably the biggest goal in the team’s history,” said Allain.

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