2. Colin Miller, D
From what I remember, there wasn’t too many naysayers when it was announced that the Vegas Golden Knights had traded Colin Miller to the Buffalo Sabres last off-season.
However, Miller is a fine example of the old saying you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.
A top-four defenseman with the Golden Knights, Miller put up 41 points (10 goals, 31 assists) in 2017-18 and three goals and 26 assists for 29 points in 2018-19.
Not only was Miller able to contribute offense, but he was also one of the team’s best puck-moving defensemen and he is also a right shot, which is a rare commodity in Vegas given that only two of the current eight blueliners on the active roster are right-shot defensemen.
He helped with Vegas’ transition game, an area they struggled in this season, and the 27-year-old also boasted a canon of a shot.
Miller was also solid in his own zone, recording a total of 128 blocked shots, 287 hits and 57 takeaways in two years with the Golden Knights.
While he was prone to the odd Giveaway, 102 in two seasons, Miller was a staple of that Golden Knights blueline and his presence was missed this year.
With Deryk Engelland nearing the end of his career, coupled with Jon Merrill’s struggles, the Knights could have done with Miller in their top-four this year in order to help Shea Theodore carry the load.
However, their recent battle with the salary cap ensured that they had to give up one of their most accomplished puck-moving blueliners, only getting back a second-round pick in 2021 and a fifth-round selection in 2022 which further rubs salt into the wound.