#5: J.T. Miller – Vancouver Canucks
J.T. Miller earns the respect of his teammates and fellow competitors by the way he carries himself on the ice. At 6’1 – 220 lbs., the East Palestine, Ohio native excels at making life difficult for the opposing team by finishing all of his hits, grinding in the juice factory, and sacrificing his body to limit scoring opportunities. On top of this, thanks to his large stocky frame and a quick draw on the dots, Miller is a fearsome adversary between the hashes.
From taking the draw in every situation regardless of the zone that the faceoff is in, to consistently smothering plays going the other way, J.T. Miller is a model figure for his position in hockey. It’s time we start giving him credit for being one of the best true centers in today’s NHL.
In the last two seasons on the Vancouver Canucks, one of the worst teams in the NHL mind you, J.T. Miller has missed just three outings out of 164 games, compiling 372 hits (wow), 107 blocked shots, 114 takeaways, while winning 54.5% of 2,119 faceoffs.
Offensively, he’s quietly been on a tear notching 64 goals and 181 total points featuring 19 power-play goals and 5 shorthanded goals. All of this while averaging 20:53 on the ice per game. To do all of this is simply astounding, to say the least.
Because of his ability to check all of the aforementioned boxes regarding the responsibilities of the center, there is strong support in favor of putting J.T. Miller in the conversation for the top five true centers in the NHL today.
He’s consistently an unrivaled workhorse who will stop at nothing to make sure either his team puts the puck in the net or that the opposing team feels the grind that will be coming their way when they face his team. It’s time we put some respect on J.T. Miller’s name.