Three Stars of the Week
K'Andre Miller tallied two points (one goal, one assist), including an assist on the game-winning goal, registered six shots on goal, and posted a plus-one rating on Dec. 8 against Michigan State. The Rangers' first round pick (22nd overall) in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft has recorded an assist/point in four of the last five games, and he has registered eight points (two goals, six assists) over the span. Miller has tallied 17 points (four goals, 13 assists) and has posted a plus-11 rating in 18 games with the University of Wisconsin this season. He was also selected as the Big Ten's First Star of the Week for the week ending on Dec. 2.
Here is how Miller compares to other defensemen selected in the first round at this point of their freshman year in the NCAA:
Miller leads Wisconsin in assists and points, is tied for the team lead in plus/minus rating, and ranks second in shots on goal (45) in 2018-19. He has been on the ice for 21 of Wisconsin's 43 goals which factor into plus/minus rating (even strength goals and shorthanded goals), and he has been on the ice for 30 of Wisconsin's 57 total goals in 2018-19. In addition, Miller is tied for sixth among NCAA defensemen in assists and points this season. He is tied for first among NCAA freshmen in points and is tied for second among NCAA freshmen in assists thus far this season, and he leads NCAA freshman defensemen in both categories. A native of St. Paul, Minnesota, Miller was selected to the United States' preliminary roster for the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship during the week.
Vitali Kravtsov registered two points (one goal, one assist) and posted a plus-two rating in Traktor's 3-2 overtime win on Dec. 4 against Avangard. The Rangers' first round pick (ninth overall) in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft has recorded 17 points (six goals, 11 assists) in 33 KHL games this season, including five points (two goals, three assists) in his last five KHL games. Kravtsov has also tallied a point in seven of the last 12 KHL games he has played and has recorded 10 points (three goals, seven assists) over the span. Kravtsov is tied for the team lead in points, ranks second in shots on goal (77), is tied for second in assists, and ranks fourth in goals this season. The 18-year-old leads all KHL players younger than 20 years old in goals, assists, and points in 2018-19. Kravtsov has registered more than twice as many points as any other KHL player younger than 20 years old has this season, and he also has more assists (11) than any other KHL player younger than 20 years old has points (seven) thus far in 2018-19.
Kravtsov was named to Russia's preliminary roster for the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship during the past week. A native of Vladivostok, Russia, Kravtsov has represented his country in several tournaments in recent years, and he served as Russia's captain at the U20 4-Nations Tournament in November.
Igor Shesterkin posted a 2-0-0 record, along with a 0.50 GAA, a .978 SV% (44 saves on 45 shots), and 1 SO in two appearances during the week. The Rangers' fourth round pick (118th overall) in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft stopped all 24 shots he faced to earn a win and a shutout on Dec. 4 against Torpedo, and he stopped 20 of 21 shots he faced to earn a win on Dec. 6 against Ak Bars. Shesterkin has posted a 14-3-0 record, along with a 1.30 GAA, a .947 SV%, and 5 SO in 17 KHL appearances with SKA in 2018-19. He ranks third in the KHL in SV%, ranks fourth in the league in GAA, and is tied for fourth in the KHL in shutouts this season. Since the start of the 2016-17 season, Shesterkin has posted a 69-9-3 record, along with a 1.59 GAA, a .938 SV%, and 20 SO in 84 KHL appearances. He will represent Russia at the Channel One Cup, which begins this week.