When he was drafted 16th overall in the 2014 NHL draft, there were some pundits out there that wondered if Milano was nothing more than a dangler, a player who could do amazing things with the puck on his stick, in practice, with nobody around him.
Fast forward to this past season, and Milano still hasn’t nailed down a role with the organization. He played in three games for the Jackets last season and looked dangerous offensively, despite only putting up one assist. His 31 points in 54 games with the Monsters last year represented good production, but that was only good for sixth in team scoring during the regular season (though in fewer games than the five players ahead of him, to be fair). He put up another 8 points in the playoffs en route to the Calder Cup, and gained a ton of pro experience along the way.
At this point there are a glut of wingers ahead of him in the organization, but between a potential Scott Hartnell trade, the expansion draft and/or another unforeseen transaction, a spot on the wing could be his to lose.
Outlook for 2016 / 2017
The upcoming training camp is crucial for Milano - will he be a go-to producer for the Monsters, or will he battle with Oliver Bjorkstrand for a potential spot on a scoring line? It’s up to him. With a solid camp, he can potentially line up alongside Alexander Wennberg or opposite Brandon Saad. He’s got the skill to hang with those guys, but he must round out his game to lock himself in as an NHLer.