Penticton Vees defenceman James Miller is putting together an incredible season. He currently leads all BCHL defenceman in points, leads the Vees in scoring, is tied for the fifth-most points in the league among all skaters and was recently named the CJHL 1st Star of the Month for November. With all these accolades so far this year, it’s no surprise that he has secured his NCAA future by committing to the Northern Michigan University Wildcats for the 2019-20 season.
The 20-year-old is currently enjoying the most productive season of his three-year BCHL career, putting up 44 points (15 goals, 19 assists) in 36 games. In total, Miller has notched 72 points in 92 career regular-season games. The Spruce Grove, Alta. native also won a Fred Page Cup championship with Penticton in the 2016-17 season.
The Northern Michigan campus is located in Marquette, Mich. and is an NCAA Division I program playing out of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA). Their conference rivals include Alabama Huntsville, Alaska Anchorage, Alaska, Bemidji State, Bowling Green, Ferris State, Lake Superior State, Michigan Tech and Minnesota State.
This season, the Wildcats have an in-conference record of 8-4-0 and sit in fourth place in the WCHA standings.
Northern Michigan’s roster this year includes plenty of former BCHL players, including Tyger Howat, Rylan Yaremko, Tony Bretzman, Adam Rockwood, Luke Voltin and Darien Craighead.
Current BCHL players committed to the Wildcats include Miller’s teammate in Penticton Andre Ghantous, Merritt Centennials defenceman Mike Van Unen and Wenatchee Wild forward Josh Arnold.