Northeastern has received its second verbal commitment of the new recruiting period, and its first from a player born in 2006, on Saturday morning. Ben Miller, a sophomore forward for Hill-Murray School in Maplewood, MN, announced on social media that he would be coming to Boston to play his collegiate hockey for the Huskies.
Miller is listed as a 6’1″ 185 pound right shot forward playing for the Pioneers as just a sophomore in high school. He scored 16 points (2 goals) in 29 games this season as Hill-Murray advanced to the high school championship game in their division. While the point totals may not jump off the page, playing top minutes as a sophomore at HMS is a statement in itself. HMS usually features one of the best rosters in Minnesota high school hockey, and Miller not only kept pace with the rest of the talent but looks primed to do so again returning as a junior where you can expect him to showcase more of the goal-scoring ability he flashed in younger levels. Prior to high school hockey Miller was a member of the Minnesota Blades AAA program. He was a third round pick of the Omaha Lancers in the 2022 USHL Futures Draft and an 11th rounder of the Portland Winterhawks in the 2021 WHL Draft, indicating a very low chance he goes to the CHL.
Miller is described by scouts and evaluators as already big and athletic and still getting stronger, with untapped potential and upside. He has been perennially seen as a top player in the 2006 class, participating in the 2022 evaluation camp for the United States National Team Development Program before not making the program. He also competed in the Brick Invitational, the World Selects Invitational at the U15 level (where he was the second leading scorer with 12 points in 9 games), and USA Hockey’s annual summer camps for the top 15 and 16 year old players in the country. One scouting service even went as far as to say his game reminds them of Frank Nazar- the former USNTDP forward who was a first round NHL pick in 2022 by Chicago. Youth Hockey Hub, a Twitter account that focuses on Minnesota youth hockey, stated that Miller is a top-40 talent in the 2006 class with “major upside.”
Miller has the potential to be the first Minnesota native to play for the team since Drew Blackmun, the forward who played three games in two seasons for the Huskies before transferring to Union. Before Blackmun, the last player to play for the Huskies from the Land of 10,000 Lakes was Chris Student in 2009-10 for former head coach Greg Cronin.
We project that Miller will be a part of the 2024 freshman class at Northeastern, just like Joe Connor who committed last night. Similar to Connor as a rising junior, that would be the earliest he could arrive at NU and there’s a chance that he could push it one season and arrive in 2025. As we gather more information we will update this projection. For next season, I would expect Miller to return to Hill-Murray for his junior season as one of the team’s leaders, and then likely play a season in the USHL before enrolling.
Congratulations to Ben on his commitment to Northeastern! As always, go Huskies!
Feature photo via Ben Miller’s twitter account @benmiller2006 and the Omaha Lancers @omahalancers