Date of Birth: February 3, 1992
Place of Birth: Brighton, MI
Ht: 6-03 Wt: 205
Merrill is a blueliner who plays for the USNTDP. He's a steady, two way defenseman who doesn't wow in any respect, but also won't burn you. He is methodical in his approach, using positioning and angles more than brute force or a heavy shot. He's a very safe pick, but he would be a valuable top four blueliner for the team that drafts him.
2009/2010 Regular Season Stats:
Scouting Report (The Scouting Report):
After a bit of an underwhelming start to the season, Merrill alleviated a lot of concerns with a good finish to the year. His combination of size, skill and intensity is hard to overlook and while his play in the USNTDP has been less then stellar, he’s still a player with a lot of potential. He’ll be attending the University of Michigan, but his style of play is tailor made for professional hockey.
Why he'd be a good fit in Columbus:
Merrill seems like a candidate to slip to the second round. If he is available when the Jackets head to the podium to announce their first of two second rounders, you'd have to think that Merrill will get some consideration. He is a bit of a project, but has the tools to be a good NHL blueliner. That said, if the Jackets take a defenseman with their first round pick, their second rounders should be a center and goaltender.
Merrill in Action: