Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Devils lose Jon Merrill in Expansion Draft
The now former Devil selected was defenseman Jon Merrill,who was a second round pick by the Devils in 2010 and never seemed to reach the level that he was touted to have the potential to be.
Merrill was selected with the then-Atlanta Thrashers second round pick obtained in the Ilya Kovalchuk trade (New Jersey had traded their first round to the Thrashers) from Michigan and was thought to be a first round talent that had slid to the second due to some off ice problems.
The Devils never had those types of issues with Merrill,what they did have issues with was uneven play and a player that was just disappointing
Merrill couldn't stay healthy (Never played more than 66 games),wasn't nearly the offensive player he was reported to be (Never scored more than 2 goals in a season) and made lots of silly mistakes on defense (never better than a -9 over the last three seasons),which is kinda a bad thing when you are a defenseman.
For a sizable blueliner ( 6'3 205),he seemed to shy away from contact,which could have been lived with had Merrill been a speedier offensive minded player,which he wasn't either.
Now,I'm not saying Jon Merrill was a huge loss,but the Devils had to be hoping that Vegas would have picked the big contract of Mike Cammalleri (Cammy would have helped the Knights in year one as long as he could have stayed healthy) or maybe even Ben Lovejoy (who in his one year with the Devils,might have been worse than Merrill at a higher cost),but I cannot imagine anyone with Devils interest being disappointed in losing Merrill.
I'm not sure which player was unprotected (Merrill or Lovejoy most likely) that would have been protected before the trade for Mirco Mueller,but both would have had advantages for being exposed.
Merrill's notes from above with Lovejoy being overpaid for two more years made losing either fine with me.
I won't miss Jon Merrill and if you had asked me about my concern on the expansion draft on the day Las Vegas was approved for entry,but told me the Devils were going to lose their seventh defenseman-I would have taken that then and there!
Not a loss that is going to severely damage the future of the franchise at all..
Back later with any Cavaliers news with the NBA draft tonight and the Devils leading off the NHL draft on Friday...