Jon Merrill
Jon Merrill
27-Year-Old DefensemanD
Vegas Golden Knights
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Merrill is neither a mover nor a shaker from a fantasy standpoint, but every NHL team needs that budget defenseman capable of mixing it up on both ends of the ice. The Oklahoman surprisingly opened up his offensive game in 2018-19, with Merrill achieving career highs in goals (three) and points (15), plus he finished third on the team with a serviceable plus-16 rating. With further consideration to his 71 hits and 72 blocked shots, the ex-Devil checks out as a steady, no-frills option, but he still won't be drafted in most leagues since there could be 100-plus blueliners that outpace him in the attacking zone by season's end. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a two-year contract extension worth $2.75 million with the Golden Knights in January of 2018.
Hits 15-point mark
DVegas Golden Knights
March 27, 2019
Merrill registered an assist and went plus-3 in Wednesday's 4-3 loss to the Avalanche.
Overall, a solid night for the third-pairing defender, which should keep him in coach Gerard Gallant's good graces. Merrill has a career-high 15 points in 53 games this season, but with only modest totals in peripheral stats (66 hits, 69 each of shots and blocked shots), he doesn't warrant much fantasy attention.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Merrill was selected in the expansion draft by the Golden Knights after being left unprotected by the Devils. While he was a valuable defensemen for Vegas, Merrill managed just three points on the season and dealt with an undisclosed injury. The 26-year-old is mostly known for his play in his own end of the rink and, even then still was a healthy scratch periodically. Considering he's recorded just 39 points in 250 career games, Merrill isn't worth owning in the majority of fantasy settings.
Merrill has been trending in the wrong direction, notching just 11 points in 98 games over his last two seasons with the Devils after racking up 25 in 118 during his first two. Despite that decrease in production and his career minus-41 rating, the Golden Knights decided to take a flier on the 25-year-old blueliner by selecting him in the expansion draft this offseason. Just cracking the lineup will be tough given the glut of defensemen on Vegas’ roster, so don't expect increased production with this change of scenery.
One of several young defensemen who saw action for New Jersey last season, the former University of Michigan star played the most out of the budding blueliners, as he was able to adapt defensively more quickly than teammate Eric Gelinas. Merrill grabbed two goals and 11 points in 52 contests last season while averaged 19:14 of ice time as a rookie. The Devils would like him to contribute more offensively, but he won’t be a liability in his own zone, something the Devils find more valuable. Merrill’s role on the team likely will increase this season, and he’s worth a look in very deep keeper leagues.
Merrill is one of New Jersey's more highly rated defensive prospects but has elected to return to the University of Michigan for his junior season. He turned some heads at the club's prospect development camp in July, but the team's second-round pick from 2010 will wait at least one more year before signing a professional contract with New Jersey.
Merrill, the Devils' second-round selection in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, posted 25 points (7 G, 25 A) in 42 games as a freshman at the University of Michigan last season. He's listed at 6-foot-3, 209 pounds, which is good size for a defenseman but he'll have plenty of time to work on his game before stepping onto NHL ice.
More Fantasy News
Matches career high for points
DVegas Golden Knights
March 21, 2019
Merrill registered an assist and went plus-4 in Thursday's 5-0 win over the Jets.
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Notches apple in blowout win
DVegas Golden Knights
March 9, 2019
Merrill dished a helper and went plus-4 in Saturday's 6-2 pummeling of the Canucks.
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Earns pair of points
DVegas Golden Knights
February 28, 2019
Merrill scored his third goal of the season and added an assist in a 6-5 shootout with over the Panthers on Thursday.
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Tallies four shots
DVegas Golden Knights
January 24, 2019
Merrill recorded four shots, four PIM and two blocks versus Vegas on Wednesday.
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Re-enters lineup
DVegas Golden Knights
November 6, 2018
Merrill will play Tuesday versus the Maple Leafs.
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