Do you remember when everyone was completely losing their marbles over the fact that the Canucks’ GM Jim Benning traded away a first-round pick to the Tampa Bay Lightning in a package deal for a 47-point winger named J.T. Miller? The situation seems completely nuts now doesn’t it?
Miller came to Vancouver and totally changed everything. Playing third-line minutes, he was expected to be a solid option in the top-six and a permanent fixture next to Bo Horvat. Miller seemed like a nice fit who could hopefully find his way to back 50 points playing with the right guys. How did that work out for him?
Miller was a shadow of his former self but in a good way. He finally turned the page and became the 200-foot player Benning envisioned him to be. He was an instant top-six impact, made his way to the top line and eventually went on to lead the team in points with 72 (27 goals, 45 assists) through 69 games played.
His leadership skills were on another level and I would be shocked if he’s not wearing a letter on his sweater next season. He could very well be the captain of this team. I’m not sure what exactly management was expecting to get from him after that trade, but the Canucks nailed it and are getting far more than they ever thought possible. What an absolute steal of a trade. Miller is exceeding all expectations in Vancouver.