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NCAA top scorer and Hobey Baker finalist Andy Miele signs with Phoenix

Apr 2, 2011, 5:21 PM EDT

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Andy Miele, John Muse Getty Images

He was one of the most pursued college free agents this year and now he’s got a home. Miami University star forward and Hobey Baker Award finalist Andy Miele is heading to Phoenix after signing a free agent entry-level deal with the Coyotes.

Miele led the nation in scoring this season with 24 goals and 47 assists totaling 71 points, a total that was 11 points better than the second place finisher North Dakota’s Matt Frattin. Miele’s efforts this year led the Redhawks to their first CCHA Tournament title and a number one seed in the NCAA Tournament. Miami was then upset by New Hampshire in the opening round of the tournament.

Last season, Miele helped lead Miami to the Frozen Four where they were defeated by Boston College in the National Semifinals. BC then went on to blowout Wisconsin in the National Championship game. Over his career, Miele has been consistent scoring 15 goals in his sophomore and junior seasons with point totals of 31 and 44 respectively in those years. His senior year, however has been a coming out party and culminated with a deal with Phoenix.

At 5’8″ 175, Miele is on the small side but his playmaking abilities and offensive touch could help the Coyotes out down the stretch… If coach Dave Tippett has the time and patience to let him play. Tippett’s handling of other young players has been criticized during his tenure both in Dallas and in Phoenix. With the Coyotes, his juggling of the lineup and scratching of Kyle Turris and Oliver Ekman-Larsson has come under scrutiny. Ekman-Larsson was just recently sent back to the AHL after being a healthy scratch for more than ten games. How Tippett handles Miele fresh off a tremendous NCAA season will be worth watching, especially with the playoffs approaching and Phoenix with just three games left to play this year.

For Miele, however, it’s a great opportunity and one that he was able to leverage being an undrafted prospect into something big for his career. If his senior year was truly his breakout as an offensive star, he’ll be a boon to the offensively starved Coyotes.

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