WEST ORANGE, NJ - West Orange High School (WOHS) varsity ice hockey forward Jonathan Miller is an impressive combination of athleticism and talent. His record-breaking statistics have landed him in the No. 12 spot in New Jersey for total points scored this season to date. The senior captain’s leadership role, both on and off the ice, have also earned Miller The Alternative Press West Orange Athlete of the Week title.
Miller, an avid Devils fan, began playing hockey at the young age of 5. Practice and dedication to the sport Miller loves earned him a Varsity spot as a freshman four years ago. By junior year, he was named one of the team’s captains.
“The biggest challenge of being a student athlete is how exhausting it is," said Miller. "Balancing athletics and schoolwork and then spending time with family and friends, it all adds up and takes a lot out of you and progressively throughout the season both your physical ability in the sport and your mental ability in school start to decline. I have also learned what it takes to be successful and I have been able to transfer that into school work.”
Miller has worked hard to balance academics and athletics. He has accumulated over 110 career points, and is pleased to hold his current No.12 statewide ranking for total points scored this season to date. The Mountaineers, who are in the process of rebuilding, play in a demanding conference. Whether speeding across the ice on a breakaway pass or assisting his teammates on goals, Miller’s skill has brought West Orange success.
In addition to playing for West Orange, Miller played eight years of club hockey at the Montclair Hockey Club. Here, younger players develop their skills before playing for a high school team as a top-notch player.
“While high school has a lot of individual efforts, club play is more team and system oriented,” explained Miller. He added that his greatest club hockey accomplishment was scoring 108 points during his eighth grade season play.
Miller said he hopes to continue playing club hockey at the University of Denver, while studying Business and Hospitality.
“Hockey has shaped most of my life. The most obvious ways hockey has influenced me is first, in the way I act, and second, in my work ethic. I was taught by coaches to be a respectful team player and not a cocky individual player and I carry that same mentality off the ice,” said Miller of his high school career.
His teammates have nothing but kind words to say about their captain. Chris Hanley, another Senior Captain, said, “Jonathan Miller epitomizes what it means to be a leader and an elite player. Very few players encompass both characteristics. Miller is one-of-a-kind.”
Miller’s humility, leadership, and talent have helped to shape the up-and-coming Ice Hockey program in West Orange, and that is a legacy any athlete would be proud to leave.