Height: 6' 3", Weight: 191 pounds
Born: 2.3.92 Brighton, Michigan
|How he arrived: Via Entry Draft
How he left: Claimed by the Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft, 6.21.17
|Regular Season Statistics with the Franchise
Stats in bold signifies team leader.
The pick that ended up becoming Merrill ended up being a key piece in the Ilya Kovalchuk trade. Who would have
guessed that at the time the trade was made?
Merrill had substantial skill with the puck, racking up 47 points in 82 games with the Michigan Wolverines, including a
big goal during The Big Game At The Big House, an outdoor game against Michigan State.
After his junior year, he turned pro, signing a PTO with Albany to finish off the 12-13 season, and doing so with a
bang, scoring 8 points in 12 games.
He was off to a good start with Albany the following season when he got the call to New Jersey due to a glut of
injuries at the time. In an ironic twist of fate, he would suffer an injury himself against Minnesota when he went hard
into the boards in his NHL debut. It was speculated at the time that he suffered a concussion, a diagnosis that was
later proven right.
As an aside, his behavior might (operative word) be a concern. I'm referring to a 3-month suspension he served at
Michigan for what was called "violating team rules" during his sophomore season. It was never disclosed what rules he
violated; he was under a 12-game suspension already for something from the previous season when he broke another
rule, causing Red Berenson to extend the suspension further. Berenson, however, did permit Merrill to participate in
that year's World Juniors tournament in Alberta, as well as practice with the Wolverines after the initial 12 games.
All that was known was that he was going through some off-ice issues at the time. The fact that Merrill worked through
it rather than leave school very early is admirable.
From where I sit, though, all that skill has yet to translate into anything at the pro level. Ultimately, I was fine with the
Knights taking him in the expansion draft.
|Entry Draft: 2010 Second Round Pick (38th overall) by the
New Jersey Devils