Our report card series continues today with Sabres defenseman Colin Miller.
Total Season Stats: 48 GP | 4 G | 8 A | 12 PTS
Contract Status: Under contract through 2021-22 (3.875 AAV)
Colin Miller found himself being one of the elder statesmen on the Buffalo Sabres blueline this season, at the ripe age of 28 years old.
Despite the age and experience in the National Hockey League, Miller suffered through an up-and-down season like most of the Buffalo Sabres did.
Miller spent most of the Covid-shortened season as a second pair defenseman, which is a step up from the third pair role he played throughout most of the 2019-20 Buffalo Sabres season.
Miller’s role pointed to him playing a somewhat larger role on the Sabres defense this past season, but he finished the season ranked eighth among Sabres defensemen with an average of 18:00 time on ice per game.
Defensively, Miller’s isolated impact five-on-five of -3.0% xGA pointed toward above-average effectiveness when on the ice. This places Miller above Rasmus Ristolainen, Rasmus Dahlin, Henri Jokiharju and Jacob Bryson - all players who averaged more time on ice than Miller last season.
Furthermore, when Miller was on the ice in a five-on-five situation, the Sabres were averaging 2.34 xGA/60. With Miller off the ice, that number ballooned to 2.61 xGA/60.
There is no doubt that Colin Miller is more than serviceable as a NHL defenseman, it just remains to be seen whether or not his game fits into a role that the Sabres will be offering heading into the future.
Throughout Buffalo’s most recent season, on-ice struggles led to conversations growing louder regarding the availability of Colin Miler.
With his veteran status in the NHL, paired with his current contract status that sees him becoming an unrestricted free agent following next season and an expansion draft looming, Miller could find himself in a different uniform heading into the 2021-22 NHL season.
Season Grade: C
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