Lightning Deals Artyukhin to Anaheim
"In acquiring Drew Miller today, we were able to add a character individual, a versatile player with good size and the ability to kill penalties," said Lawton upon making the announcement. "Drew finished the season nicely in Anaheim a year ago and he has played well for the Ducks in the postseason over his career. We'd like to thank Evgeny for his hard work in Tampa Bay and his diligence to improve as a player. We wish him all the best moving forward."
Miller, 6-foot-2, 185 pounds, has played in 53 NHL games in his career, all with the Ducks. He has recorded six goals and 15 points in those games. Miller made his NHL regular season debut on October 6, 2007 and netted his first NHL goal on October 17, 2007. He has played in 16 career Stanley Cup Playoff games with Anaheim, recording two goals and three points. He made his playoff debut in the 2007 NHL Playoffs, including Games 1 and 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals against Ottawa as Anaheim went on to win the Stanley Cup.
A native of Dover, New Jersey, Miller played in 27 games with the Ducks in 2008-09, recording four goals and 10 points. He appeared in a career high 13 playoff games, recording two goals and three points. He also spent 53 games with the Iowa Chops of the American Hockey League, recording 23 goals and 38 points. He was tied for the team lead in goals and was fourth in points.
Miller has played in 163 career AHL games with Iowa and the Portland Pirates, recording 55 goals and 110 points. In 2007-08 he helped Portland to the Eastern Conference Finals by registering a goal and eight points in 16 games. Miller made his professional hockey debut with the Pirates in 2006-07, finishing tied for first on the team in rookie scoring and tied for third in overall scoring.
The 25-year-old played his college hockey at Michigan State University, where he was the 10th member of his family to play for the Spartans, including brother Ryan Miller of the Buffalo Sabres. He amassed 39 goals and 86 points in 125 career games with the Spartans. Miller served as team captain during his junior year while leading the club in scoring with 18 goals and 43 points. He was also named Michigan Stateâ€™s Most Valuable Player and was honored as the CCHAâ€™s Best Defensive Forward. He was recognized as the CCHAâ€™s 2006 Illitch Humanitarian Award winner and was nominated for the Hockey Humanitarian Award in 2005 and 2006.
Artyukhin, scheduled to make $1M this season, has had a long and rocky history with the Lightning. First drafted by Rick Dudley at the insistence of then AGM Jay Feaster, the 6.05 and 255lb winger is one of the fastest and hardest checking forwards in the league, but has struggled to secure a permanent role with the Lightning. After a few years of bouncing between the minor leagues and Feaster's Lightning roster, Artyukhin returned to Russia for a couple of seasons before being coaxed back to Tampa last summer by new Lightning owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie.