So with Michigan Hockey in the Frozen Four we have been getting a number of people that don’t necessarily follow college hockey but want to know more about the team as they get pumped for the upcoming battle with North Dakota. One person that has been looked up a lot has been the Freshman phenom Jon Merrill. So I figured it would be cool to share a little information about the kid. (If you are one that follows College Hockey you most likely don’t need to keep reading, just wanted to put out more info on a stud kid that many people now seem to want to know a lot about).
Via Hockeys Future Dated: 2/27/11
The Devils were without a first round pick at the 2010 draft, but it appears as though they have found first round value in the second round with the selection of Merrill, who is flourishing as a freshman at the University of Michigan. He is easily the best defense prospect the Devils have had in the organization in quite some time. Playing on the top defense pairing with Chad Langlais and quarterbacking the Wolverines power-play, Merrill was thrown right into the fire at the start of the season and has not looked out of place, quickly earning the trust of Michigan head coach Red Berenson. Merrill leads all Michigan defensemen with 21 through 34 games. He also was one of the top performers for the bronze medal winning American team at the 2010 World Junior Championships this past winter.
Standing at 6’3, and now just over 200 lbs, Merrill has taken the NCAA by storm, and likely has more than a handful of NHL teams shaking their heads, wishing that they hadn’t passed over him in the draft. The smooth-skating, mobile blueliner has shown the ability to rush the puck up the ice and is often the trigger man on the power-play with an above average shot that he isn’t afraid to show off. While he is often in good position in his own end, he still has to get stronger and learn how to be a little more assertive physically, all of which will improve as he fills out his frame and gains experience. There are some who are speculating that Merrill could turn pro after this season, but it would likely be in his best interest for this potential top-pairing defenseman to play at least one more season with the Wolverines.