The Merritt Centennials are beginning to bolster their roster for next season, this week announcing the signing of a new forward to next year’s team. Rhett Miller, a 2005 born forward hailing from the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL), will don a Cents jersey and reunite with former teammates for the 2023/24 season.
Miller comes to the Cents with a host of minor hockey experience, spending the past number of seasons playing between the Okanagan Hockey Academy, Red Deer, Alta.’s AAA midget programs, and the Grande Prairie Storm in the AJHL. Last year, during a season of midget level hockey, Miller played alongside a current Centennial.
“Rhett is a player that we identified to come in and fit our style here in Merritt. He is hard on pucks, fearless and skilled,” said Head Coach and GM Curtis Toneff.
“He was a line-mate of Diego Johnson’s last season in midget, sometimes players can be your best resources for recruiting, and Rhett ended up being a no-brainer for us for next season.”
In the 2022/23 season, Miller has played 7 games with the AJHL’s Grand Prairie Storm, putting up 1 point via an assist. He also played 17 games of U18 AAA junior hockey in Red Deer, putting up 12 points with 6 goals and 6 assists. Playing last year with Diego Johnson in the Okanagan HA Black U17 Prep of the Canadian Sport School Hockey League (CSSHL), the future Cent scored 59 points (21 goals, 38 assists). Cents coaching staff said they are excited to have Miller on board for next season.
Miller himself is excited about the move to the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL), and looks forward to proving himself as a Centennial. The young forward will join an often troubled, but always promising, offense in the league’s longest standing franchise.
“I am super excited to become part of a small, tight-knit community like Merritt. Being a part of such a historical franchise is something I have dreamed of since I was a young child,” commented Miller.
“I cannot wait to devote myself to this organization and make the necessary sacrifices to help this team succeed in the best junior A league in Canada. I want to bring excitement to the fans with my play on the ice, all while becoming a part of the community off the ice.”
The Cents went 0-3 in their last three matchups, beginning with an 8-0 derailment on home ice at the hands of the Penticton Vees. Following the Wednesday home game, the Cents hit the road for two games in the Kootenays. The Cents fell 5-4 in a tight game to the Trail Smoke Eaters on Friday Night, followed by a 4-1 loss to the Bucks in Cranbrook.
The Cents next head to Vernon to take on the Vipers on December 30, following a holiday break. On New Year’s Eve, the Centennials will play the Salmon Arm Silverbacks on home ice at the NVMA.