Youth was served for New York’s first five games of the season but on Friday, some of it was dispatched to Hartford.
The Rangers announced that forwards J.T. Miller and Jesper Fast were headed to the American League, recalling center Chris Mueller in the process. Miller, 21, and Fast, 22, were two of the five youngest Rangers to make the team out of training camp but failed to impress, as both went scoreless while posting minus ratings in their three appearances this season.
The real story here could be Miller, who continues to find a difficult time winning over head coach Alain Vigneault. Last season, Vigneault blasted the former first-round pick by saying Miller hadn’t “earned the right” to stay in the NHL.
“J.T. has to figure it out and hopefully he will,” Vigneault said, per the NY Post. “When he does, we’re going to have a good player. If he doesn’t, he will be a good minor league player.”
Miller, who was thought to have a shot at increased minutes at center in the wake of Derek Stepan’s injury, averaged just over 12 minutes a night this season with only seven shots on goal. Fast had a little bit more ice time than Miller but was even less productive in the shot department, firing just three on net.