JT Miller’s impressive 2013 campaign continues to get better.
In January, he won gold with Team USA at the World Juniors. Last week, he played in his first-ever AHL All-Star Game.
And on Tuesday, he’ll play in his first-ever NHL game as his Rangers travel to New Jersey to take on the Devils in a classic rivalry matchup.
“I’m just excited right now, anxious, just ready to play obviously,” Miller told NHL.com. “I’ve been looking forward to it since I was a little kid.
“I just want to go out there and try to get into the game as soon as possible. I think that will help me the most.”
New York’s first-round pick at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Miller was the first American player off the board and has since gone on to represent the U.S. at the last two World Junior tournaments.
In the most recent one, Miller scored nine points in nine games and led the team in assists, with seven.
Rangers head coach John Tortorella has been impressed with how much Miller has matured in a relatively short period of time. The 19-year-old is still in the midst of his first professional season.
“I think his game has really grown,” Tortorella said. “He had a really good [World Junior] tournament there. He has become more consistent in Hartford.”
Taylor Hall is sick and reportedly “doubtful” for tonight’s game in Dallas.
Hall did not skate with the Oilers this morning. If he can’t play, Edmonton’s top two lines against the Stars could feature Ryan Nugent-Hopkins between wingers Teddy Purcell and Benoit Pouliot, followed by Connor McDavid centering Lauri Korpikoski and Nail Yakupov.
The Oilers — forced to start the season without top-six winger Jordan Eberle — have scored just once in their first two games, losing 3-1 in St. Louis and 2-0 in Nashville.
Edmonton returns home after tonight’s contest to play St. Louis on Thursday. Then it’s back out on the road for games against Calgary and Vancouver.
Buffalo has put blueliner Matt Donovan on waivers, per Sportsnet.
Donovan, 25, signed a one-year deal with the Sabres on the opening day of free agency after spending his entire professional career with the Isles organization.
The fact he’s being waived isn’t a huge shock. Donovan failed to draw into a single Sabres game this year despite a whittled-down blueline; Jake McCabe, recently called up from AHL Rochester, drew into the lineup for Monday’s win over Columbus at the expense of Carlo Colaiacovo, who played the first two games of the year.
The fact both McCabe and Colaiacovo were ahead on the depth chart didn’t bode well for Donovan. Today’s move could also suggest that Zach Bogosian, who hasn’t played this year due to injury, is ready to return.