Name: Norm Milley
Position: Right Wing
Weight: 195 lbs
Acquired: Signed as a Free Agent on 8/18/05
Norm Milley is a product of the Sudbury Wolves OHL major junior team. As a rookie in 1996-97 he scored 30 goals and 62 points in 61 games for Sudbury at age 16. The following year he scored 33 goals and 74 points in 62 games for the Wolves and at season's end was named the 48th best skater in North America by the NHL Central Scouting Service. In the June draft he was selected in 2nd round, 47th overall by the Buffalo Sabres. 1998-1999 was Milley's career year in junior in which he scored 52 goals and 120 points in 68 games. The following year he would post another 100 point season with 52 goals and 112 points in 68 games.
In the summer of 2000, Milley signed with the Buffalo Sabres and spent his rookie professional season with their affiliate, the Rochester Americans of the AHL scoring 20 goals and 47 points in 77 games. The next year he had 20 goals and 38 points in 74 games for the Americans earning 5 games in the NHL with Buffalo in which he notched 1 assist. In 2002-2003 he played in 67 games for Rochester with 16 goals and 48 points and also saw 8 games with the Sabres in which he had 2 assists. In 2003-2004 he had 18 goals and 37 points in 77 games and had a strong postseason with 7 goals and 13 points in 16 playoff games in Rochester. He also got another brief call up to Buffalo, this time a 2 game stint in which he was scoreless. The lockout season of 2004-2005 would be Milley's final in the Sabres organization. After scoring 12 goals and 33 points in 72 games he was cut loose by Buffalo and signed with the Lightning in the Fall of 2005. He was placed with the Lightning's affiliate in Springfield where he had 19 goals and 48 points in 52 games, tying his career best professional point total largely on the team's second line with rookie center Ryan Vesce. At midseason he was recalled to Tampa Bay where he played 14 games and scored his first NHL goal. In total he had 2 goals and 3 points before being returned to the Falcons for the duration of the season.
Milley is an extremely crafty player who anticipates the play well and has a knack of finding the dead spots in an opposing team's defensive zone coverage. Although not overly physical, his hockey smarts make him a pest in all three zones, and he was one of the Falcons' best players on the power play this past season.
Milley's size makes him a less than ideal NHL checking liner and his skating is a step slow for hockey's top level. Despite the monster numbers he put up in junior, Milley has never been a natural finisher as a pro and he failed to convert many point blank opportunities in his time in Tampa.
If he returns to the Lightning organization, Milley should fill the role he did last season as one of the Falcons key offensive leaders and a potential checking line callup in the event of injuries in Tampa. Unfortunately for Milley, in terms of his NHL ambitions, should he stay in the Lightning organization he may find himself on the losing side of competition for those callups with bigger, faster and younger prospects like Nick Tarnasky.
Statistics Courtesy hockeydb.com
Profile Created 6/1/06 by Pete Choquette