Kevan Miller – Meet Santa Clarita’s Homegrown Pro Hockey Player

by | Jul 26, 2016 | Cover Story

On the ice, NHL Boston Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller is known for his 6’2” 215-pound build, striking hits and steely determination.  On a warm Wednesday afternoon, however, the Sand Canyon native was all laughs.  Soft spoken and a little bit goofy, Kevan keeps the bigger picture in mind.  It seems all his dreams are coming true, and he’s not about to let a second go by unappreciated.  With a new wife, $10 million contract and the security to finally settle, the road ahead holds as much promise as a stadium of untouched ice.
“It’s every kid’s dream to grow up and, one day, go pro,” Kevan said.  “To get to this point is pretty incredible.”
On May 24, the Boston Bruins signed Kevan for a four-year, $10 million contract extension, allowing him to plant some roots with his new wife and high school sweetheart, Haley, who he married just two months after the contract was announced.  Despite such big things ahead, Kevan’s journey started with a simple love of the sport.
“When I was 5 years old, my brothers and I would play roller hockey on the driveway,” Kevan recalled, “and one day, our neighbor asked us if we wanted to try it on the ice.  So at about 5 ½ years old, I was playing ice hockey.”
Hockey quickly became a bigger, more important part of Kevan’s life as he got older.  He played for several regional teams, as well as Canyon High School’s team, before he and his parents decided it was time to take the leap and get serious about a potential career in hockey.  After his sophomore season at Canyon, Kevan transferred to a prep school in Massachusetts, so he could prioritize hockey without sacrificing a strong education.  This was an early turning point for Kevan.
“Every kid who grows up watching hockey dreams about this.  You hang stuff on your wall and talk about going pro,” Kevan recalled.  “It was a big step to leave home and move across the country at 16, but I knew, at this point, I was going to give this a shot – I was gonna make a run for it.”
After graduation, Kevan played for the University of Vermont Catamounts on a scholarship, serving as team captain for two years.  Though he wasn’t drafted as a free agent upon college graduation, Kevan was picked up by the Providence Bruins in Boston, an American Hockey League (AHL) team.  He competed in 154 games with the Providence Bruins, where he posted 7-38=45 totals.
In the winter of 2013, Kevan played his first game for the Boston Bruins, making his NHL debut.  He scored his first NHL career goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs in December.  Recently completing his third season with the Boston Bruins, Kevan competed in a career-high 71 games and established career highs in goals (five), assists (13), points (18) and penalty minutes (53).  He posted the second-best plus/minus rating on the team (+15).  On November 5, 2015, Kevan played in his 100th NHL game at Washington.
In total, the 28-year-old blueliner has played in 159 games at the NHL level – all with Boston – racking up 8-23=31 totals, while amassing 106 penalty minutes.  He has appeared in 11 postseason contests with the Bruins and registered two assists.  At an all-time high in his career, Kevan has finally found some stability.
“In the hockey world, it’s pretty rare to find that kind of security,” Kevan said of his recent contract.  “There were a lot of ups and downs through college and Providence, and in that first year, Haley and I moved around a lot.  It will be nice to finally set some roots.”
Just like Kevan’s journey to the NHL, Haley and Kevan’s story started with sports in Santa Clarita.  During their sophomore year, the two met through mutual friends and got to know each other by kicking a ball around before Haley’s soccer practice.  They dated that year and attended winter formal together, until Kevan moved across the country for prep school.  Years later, when Kevan returned for summer between college semesters, the two rekindled their high school romance and dated for eight years before saying, “I do.”
“She’s been there for me since day one,” Kevan said of his new bride.  “She’s seen me grow in my career, and it’s huge for us as a couple to be able to settle in one place.”
The Millers recently bought a house in Charlestown, Massachusetts.
“We’re able to be a family and hopefully have some kids soon,” Kevan said.
With only good things on the horizon, Kevan is focused on his family and his career.
“I’m chomping at the bit to get the season going,” Kevan said.  “We’ve been so close to making playoffs, and I think we’ll get there this season.”