Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Caps Dev Camp Invitee and Miami Forward Miele Frontrunner for Hobey Baker

It’s hard to argue that the Caps don’t have a good eye for prospects.  They have been able to find good players late in the draft and late in rounds, where their position has been the last few seasons.  Now their eye is being complemented by another player: Andy Miele.

Though Miele isn’t a Capitals prospect, he was invited to the Caps Development Camp last July.  He was certainly one of the stand-out players, which is saying something considering he was playing among kids like Evgeny Kuznetsov, Marcus Johansson, and Stanislav Galiev.

He is drawing a lot of attention this season in his senior year with Miami University (OH).  In just 32 games this season, he has set career bests in goals with 17, assists with 39, and points with 56.  Miele currently leads the nation in scoring, and is just the second RedHawk to have a 50-point season in 14 years.

He is fast with smooth hands, a combination that certainly never hurt anyone.  Miele told Rock the Red over the summer that that player he models himself after is Pavel Datsyuk.  Given his defensive role, particularly on the penalty kill, and his leadership (he is an alternate captain for the RedHawks this year), that’s not a completely absurd comparison.

Miele’s fans have even taken his Hobey Baker campaign viral.  Hard to argue his ability with this evidence.

Come season’s end, it may be time for Miele to hook up with a former Hobey Baker winner: George McPhee.  Miele impressed at development camp this summer (making Boudreau’s “all-camp” team), and while he wanted to finish out his collegiate career with Miami, Miele went through two different entry drafts without being selected.

This is likely due to his size (5’8, 175 lbs) in a league where players seem to constantly be getting bigger, faster, stronger.  His undrafted status makes him a free agent, and he can sign with an NHL team whenever he chooses.

It’s hard to imagine that Miele’s performance this season wouldn’t certainly earn him a contract in the pros.  He’ll generate a lot of attention, and though some teams will be scared away because of his size, he’s going to be in the power position of being able to choose which organization he plays with.

It seemed the Caps spotted something special when they invited Miele to camp in July.  Perhaps their shallowest position in the organization is wing, and Miele could be a perfect fit.  He got rave reviews from both McPhee and Boudreau, and he may be the newest Cap come April.

1 comment:

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