Injury will sideline Wisconsin Badgers leading scorer K’Andre Miller against Notre Dame
The University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team will play its upcoming series at No. 15 Notre Dame without its leading scorer.
Freshman defenseman K’Andre Miller won’t play against the Fighting Irish, Badgers coach Tony Granato said after Monday morning’s practice, because of a left leg injury suffered during Saturday’s game.
“We’re not going to rush him back from anything,” Granato said.
Miller, a first-round NHL draft pick, was injured with nine minutes remaining in the third period of Saturday’s 4-1 loss to No. 3 Ohio State at the Kohl Center.
On a short-handed rush with the puck, Miller tried skating around Buckeyes defenseman Gordi Myer but lost his footing before crashing into the end boards. It appeared that his left knee made the heaviest contact.
Miller was quickly attended to by UW athletic trainer Andy Hrodey before teammates helped the defenseman off the ice. He didn’t put any weight on his left leg as he was guided to the locker room door.
“The knee is fine,” Granato said, “but he’s banged up pretty good, so he’s going to be reevaluated this afternoon.”
Miller leads the Badgers with 17 assists and 22 points. He’s tied for eighth nationally in freshman scoring and is tied for the lead among Big Ten Conference rookies.
He was the 22nd overall pick of the New York Rangers in the 2018 NHL draft, with his raw talent and speed attracting a lot of attention among teams.
Miller had 17 points and was plus-11 through the Badgers’ first 18 games of the season and was named the national rookie of the month for October and December.
His offensive production has slowed since he returned from playing for the United States at the World Junior Championship in December and January. In his last eight games, he had five points and was minus-4.
The Badgers are 2-10-2 this season when he doesn’t record a point.
UW, which is in last place in the Big Ten Conference at 5-8-5-2 (9-14-5 overall), plays at Notre Dame on Friday and Saturday.
Freshman Jesper Peltonen took Miller’s spot in the Badgers lineup during his World Juniors absence, but his ice time decreased through the Jan. 4-5 series against Denver as the team played with five defensemen.
The Badgers also have senior Jake Bunz, a finalist for the Hockey Humanitarian Award, in their defensive corps. He has played in only one game this season.