BostonBruins.com -- Now in his first full season with Providence, defenseman Kevan Miller is very much enjoying his time with the P-Bruins.
“The coaches are great, the guys are great,” he said. “I don’t think I could ask for a better spot.
"I’ve been pretty fortunate – they’ve helped me learn a lot.”
Miller learned plenty while attending the University of Vermont, where he served as captain for the Catamounts in his junior and senior seasons and finished his collegiate career with 5-25=30 totals in 144 NCAA games.
After his college season ended in March, he went on to play six games with Providence and made his professional debut last March 25 against the Worcester Sharks.
The transition from the college ranks to the pros is often hardest in the corners and Miller said that the Bruins want him to continue to improving on his physical play.
“Also making the first pass," explained Miller. "I think for a defensemen, especially in my position, you need to make the first pass and also to improve better on the offensive blueline a bit and getting my shot there."
Thus far, the physicality of the game hasn’t been a struggle, racking up 53 minutes in penalties, in addition to contributing one goal and nine assists for a total of 10 points this season.
The 24-year-old was invited to Boston Bruins training camp this past summer, earned a spot on the AHL roster and was signed to an entry-level contract on Oct. 21.
“I came into the year with high expectations,” Miller said. “Obviously my goal was to play in the NHL and I was pretty fortunate to sign a NHL contract.”
After growing up on the west coast, the Los Angeles native attended Berkshire School, a prep school in Western Massachusetts.
“My parents were pretty high on education rather than the junior [hockey] route,” said Miller, who was later recruited to go to University of Vermont and gave the Californian an easy intra-New England transition between high school and college.
Miller has been fortunate enough to be able to play hockey at three very high, but very different levels –- the NCAA, the AHL, and in the NHL Bruins training camp -- and knows that each rung on the hockey ladder presents different challenges.
“Yeah it’s definitely faster and in some ways slower, [with] more skill,” Miller said of the professional ranks. “Guys slow the game down and are much more skilled and are fast when they need to be.”
But nothing seems to dissuade Miller from his highest hockey aspirations, especially since he got a taste of what it is like to someday become an NHLer during training camp.
“I’m kind of putting the sky’s the limit for me right now,” he said.