2008-09: Jon Merrill played for the US NTDP Under-17 squad. In 26 games vs. NAHL competition, Merrill scored 2 goals and added 2 assists for 4 points. In 19 games vs. other competition, Merrill netted 1 goal and added 4 assists for 5 points. Merrill was a part of Team USA's gold medal-winning Under-18 World Junior Championships squad.
2009-10: Played for the US NTDP Under-18 team. In 22 games vs. USHL competition, Merrill scored 1 goal and added 8 assists for 9 points. Merrill won another gold medal with Team USA at this year's Under-18 World Junior Championships.
2010-11: Merrill played top pair minutes and appeared in 42 of 44 games as a freshman at the University of Michigan. Merrill scored 7 goals with 18 assists and was +11 with 16 PMs for the Wolverines, who won the CCHA regular season title and advanced to the Frozen Four Championship game by shutting out high-powered North Dakota, 2-0, in the semifinals. Michigan lost to Minnesota-Duluth, 3-2, in overtime in the championship game.
2011-12: Merrill did not play in his first game until the 2012 World Junior Championships – missing the first two months of his sophomore season with a team-imposed suspension. Representing the USA for the second time after winning a bronze medal in 2011, he was plus-five and had 4 assists with 6 penalty minutes in six games. The USA finishing seventh. Merrill skated in 19 games for Michigan after re-joining Michigan – primarily partnered with Sharks' prospect Lee Moffie. He was plus-11 with 2 goals 9 assists and 15 penalty minutes. Michigan finished second in the CCHA and earned an NCAA at-large bid after reaching the conference championship game. The Wolverines were 13-5-1 with Merrill in the lineup.
Merrill is a solidly built two-way defender with outstanding poise and hockey smarts. He skates well in all directions, shows no fear in rushing the puck up the ice and can quarterback a power play with his great distribution skills and shot. While he’s still a little raw defensively, Merrill has gradually learned how to use his sizable frame to his advantage in his time at the University of Michigan. That being said, he mostly relies on his sound positioning and keen stick-work while defending.
Merrill’s maturity has come into to question at times in his young career, but he has the multi-purpose skill set to eventually evolve into a top-pairing defenseman that can play in all situations. He has 40-50 point upside. Ryan Suter is a good comparable at the NHL level. Merrill will return to the Wolverines this fall for his junior season.