2019-20 Team: Tri-City Storm
Date of Birth: December 20, 2001
Place of Birth: Sylvania, Ohio
Ht: 5’11” Wt: 194 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2020 first-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting: 49th (Amongst NA skaters)
- The Hockey Writers (Fisher): 89th
- The Hockey Writers (Forbes): 171st
- Elite Prospects: 90th
Certainly more of an offensive defenseman, Mitchell Miller made his presence felt on the blue line this past season. Playing for the Tri-City Storm of the United States Hockey League, he scored eight goals and added 25 assists for 33 points in 44 games played.
Rising up draft rankings all season long, Miller has shown that he has the skill required to make an impact at the next level. Although he does not have great size, his quick decision making and smooth skating make up for it.
Related: THW’s 2020 Draft Guide
With the puck on his stick, Miller makes smart decisions under pressure and makes a great first outlet pass. He loves to follow the play up the ice but makes sure he is able to get back when the play transitions up the ice. He is also not afraid to be physical when called upon. Although he does not go looking for fights, Miller is more than capable to stick up for himself and others around him. He is great in the corners and makes sure opposing forwards have a rough go whenever they are in front of the net.
Committed to the University of North Dakota for 2020-21, Miller will be able to develop his skills playing for a solid Fighting Hawks team. Although he will take a few years to hone his craft, I envision him making a smooth transition to the pro game. His skills are great for today’s fast-paced game and whichever team calls his name will be getting a solid prospect.
Other THW Profiles
Mitchell Miller – NHL Draft Projection
Although Miller was ranked 49th amongst North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting, I predict he goes higher than where they have him ranked. If a team is really high on Miller, I could see him being taken in the second round but to be safe, I predict he will go somewhere in the third round. He has good skill and will bolster a team’s prospect pipeline.
“At this point, I believe that Miller is the top draft-eligible defender among the non-USNTDP USHLers, and no one else is particularly close. True, some of that is a factor of the USHL being light on the blue line this year, but Miller is a legit good prospect. Between his high-end skating and puck skills and refined hockey sense and instincts, he looks like a potential second pairing defender with some power-play time thrown in. He would not look out of place in the second round.” – Ryan Wagman/McKeen’s Hockey
“Plays like a fourth forward always ready lead the rush or be the trailer. His strong stride and agility let him play a high pace up-ice style most shifts. He has a high end hockey smarts and plays with physicality. ” – Bill Placzek/DraftSite
Under Construction – Improvements to Make
- Closing gaps in defensive zone
- Consistent play away from puck
With Miller, he will need a few years to fully blossom and develop his all-around game. He will most likely need some time in the minors but I can see him becoming a second or third pairing defender. An NHL comparable to me would be someone like Matt Niskanen. They both love to contribute on offense but know when to come back. They both aren’t afraid to be physical and use that to their advantage when battling for puck possession.
Risk – 3/5, Reward – 3.5/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense – 8 /10, Defense – 6.5/10
In 2017-18, while playing for Honeybaked U16, Miller and his team were named High Performance Hockey League Champions. In 2018-19, Miller and Team USA were crowned World Jr. A Challenge Champions. In 2019-20, he was named to the USHL First All-Star Team.
My name is Mathieu Sheridan. I am a writer here at THW who covers the OHL and prospects in general.