Jon Merrill
Image: NHL

Jon Merrill

Hometown:

Bighton Michigan

Currently Playing In:

Pro

Birthday:

1992-02-03

Position:

D

Eligible for draft:

2010

Shoots:

Left

Drafted:

2010

Height:

6-3

Acquired:

2nd round (38th overall), 2010

Weight:

209 lbs.

Probability of Success
  • B

History

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.

2012-13: Merrill signed a three-year entry-level contract with New Jersey and made his pro hockey debut with New Jersey’s AHL affiliate in Albany in March following his junior year at Michigan. In 12 AHL games he scored 1 goal with 7 assists and was -8 with 4 penalty minutes. Albany missed the AHL playoffs after finishing fourth in the Northeast Division. Merrill missed the first half of the season due to a cracked vertebrae and played his first game for Michigan in January. He was in the middle of things for the eighth-place Wolverines’ late season nine-game unbeaten streak that ended in the CCHA conference championship game. In 21 games he scored 2 goals (both on the power play) and had 9 assists; finishing +3 with 14 penalty minutes.

 

Talent Analysis

Merrill is a solid two-way defender with outstanding poise and hockey smarts. He skates very well, shows no fear in rushing the puck up the ice and can quarterback a power play with his great distribution skills and shot. Since he has not played a full season of hockey since his freshman campaign at Michigan, he is still a little raw. Still, he has risen to the occasion and makes his team better whenever he’s on the ice.

Future

For the second half of the 2013-14 season, Merrill was arguably New Jersey's best defenseman. Now with management's commitment to play their young blueliners, look for Merrill to establish himself in the team's top-four.

Defense and goaltending main strengths in New Jersey Devils top 20

by John Iadevaia
on

Reid Boucher - New Jersey Devils

Photo: Forward Reid Boucher is coming off a breakout season in the OHL, where he managed 62 goals in 68 games. (courtesy of Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

Even prior to a wild and unpredictable 2013 off-season, the New Jersey Devils were going to see a lot of competition on their NHL roster from young prospects, most notably on defense, where the organization is deep and skilled. Despite the amount of veteran depth on paper in the organization, several forwards in the system could also fight their way into the NHL lineup.

Read more»

New Jersey Devils 2013 draft preview

by HF Staff
on

Adam Larsson - New Jersey Devils

Photo: Defenseman Adam Larsson was selected 4th overall by the New Jersey Devils in the 2011 NHL Draft. (Rich Graessle/Icon SMI)

The New Jersey Devils started the lockout shortened 2012-13 season on fire. Following a home-and-home sweep of the Pittsburgh Penguins in February, New Jersey sat atop of the Eastern Conference. Then the injuries started to take their toll. Without key contributors like Dainius Zubrus, Martin Brodeur and Ilya Kovalchuk, the team tumbled down the standings. An inability to score, combined with some terrible luck down the stretch, kept New Jersey out of the playoffs for a second time in three years.  

Read more»

Forwards dominate New Jersey Devils prospect awards

by HF Staff
on

Seth Helgeson - New Jersey Devils

Photo: Seth Helgeson was the only senior defenseman on the Minnesota Golden Gophers roster this season. Helgeson recently signed a two-year entry-level contract with the New Jersey Devils. (courtesy of Scott A. Schneider/Getty Images)

As the 2012-13 season comes to a close, it is time to hand out the end of the year awards for the New Jersey Devils prospects. While the NHL team struggled, many of their junior players performed very well for their respected clubs. What may be surprising are that most of the recipients are forwards. New Jersey features a healthy stock of quality defensemen, but lacks depth and talent up front. Still, the few standouts had terrific seasons that cannot be overlooked.

Read more»

New Jersey Devils top 20 brimming with pro-ready defensemen

by HF Staff
on

Michigan v Minnesota

Photo: Defenseman Jon Merrill remains the top prospect for the New Jersey Devils. Merrill recently signed an NHL contract after playing three years at the University of Michigan. (courtesy of Scott A. Schneider/Getty Images)

An important summer approaches for the New Jersey Devils organization. With a plethora of free agents that may or may not be re-signed, the organization may give its minor league and junior prospects an opportunity to crack the NHL lineup.

Read more»

Top 50: Tyler Toffoli headlines bottom group of 2013 Spring rankings

by HF Staff
on

Tyler Toffoli - Los Angeles Kings

Photo: Forward Tyler Toffoli has been impressive in his first professional season, managing about a point-per-game in the AHL before getting called up to play in the NHL with the Kings (courtesy of Ric Tapia/Icon SMI)

The Spring edition of the Hockey's Future ranking of the Top 50 NHL prospects begins with the prospects ranked 41-50. The emergence of many new rookies in the truncated NHL season presented the ranking committee with a formidable challenge. The result is a diverse group of prospects at different stages in their development, from those on the verge of NHL stardom to project players who are still years away from helping their NHL club on a nightly basis.

Read more»