Miller brings full resume

Colton Davies

Penticton Vees blueliner James Miller had eight goals in parts of two B.C Hockey League seasons entering this year, but the hard-shooting defender wasted almost no time adding to that in the new campaign.

Miller scored the team's first goal of the year just 32 seconds into their season opener in Langley, a game that ended as a 5-2 loss.

"Started off with a good faceoff win, got the puck in and wrapped around to me. It was just a quick shot that had eyes and snuck in," he told Castanet on Vees View. "Not the nicest goal I've scored but they all count, but also would like to have gotten the win."

Few B.C. Hockey League players have credentials that the 20-year-old Vees assistant captain enters this new season with.

Now in his third year with the club, Miller has experience at the NCAA Division I level (where he spent the first half of the 2017-18 season), was part of a BCHL-title-winning Vees team two seasons ago which played in the RBC Cup, and also was a member of last year's Vees squad that finished in first in the BCHL standings.

Now a veteran in Penticton, Miller said his leadership role is the biggest change this season. 

"Other than that, just playing my game. Leading on and off the ice. We got a young team here with lots of skill, just maybe need a little direction. Getting to know our systems."

He said there's many similarities with this year's group as teams in the past two years, which have combined for 81 wins in 116 regular season games.

"Lots of skill, we have lots of size, lots of speed. Every year Fred (Harbinson) brings guys in that play our hockey, our style, so not a whole lot has changed. We're a very skilled, fast and physical team."

And does Miller think he'll keep up the goal-per-game average he has through one contest?

"I think we would all like that," he said after a laugh. "Realistically, probably not gunna happen. Just gunna look to contribute in any area that I can."

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