What to do with Drew?

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“Every camp I’ve been at, you’re competing for a spot and you go in with the mind-set you’ve got to prove yourself every day.  I try to pride myself on being able to fit on any line, and definitely be counted on to be responsible out there and play well on the penalty kill … and then chip in goals when I can.” –Drew Miller

Miller scored a pair of goals yesterday to help Team Lindsay past Team Delvecchio in their friendly.  Final score was 5-4.

Babcock also spoke to the Free Press in this morning’s post about young Drew Miller:

“Millsie’s just a good skater and smart … played real well for us last year on the penalty kill.  He’s a young guy getting better in his career.  Our guys and the guys batting for jobs, that starts on the 22nd.  That’s just the facts.”– Mike Babcock

I’ve long supported Matias Ritola since his early days in Grand Rapids – mostly because I think he has one of the coolest sounding names in hockey, but he’s also a nice, young prospect.  The problem I have, or I should say “the concern that I have”, is that we already know what we can get out of Miller.  Ten goals from a fourth liner who is great on the PK.  Ritola may or may not pan out into a quality NHL-er, but Miller appeared to be the real deal last season after we plucked him off of waivers from Tampa Bay. 

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At 26, he’s only three years older than Ritola, and could prove to be a staple on Detroit for years to come should we choose to keep him around.  Of course, if we let Ritola go – he could turn out to be the next Ville Leino (in this year’s play-offs) for some team in the East.  Sadly, there doesn’t appear to be room for both – especially with guys like Draper most likely starting the season in the press box.

Miller deserves to be on an NHL team.  We’ll just have to see how everything shakes out.

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