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Former first-rounder Merkley leaves North America continue career
Photo credit: NHL.com

FORMER FIRST-ROUNDER NICK MERKLEY LEAVES NORTH AMERICA TO CONTINUE CAREER

JUL 29, 2022  (11H04)      TIM TUCKER
Not every player drafted in the first-round can make it in the NHL. After seven years of trying, Nick Merkley is headed elsewhere. The 25-year-old, drafted 30th overall in 2015, has signed a one-year deal with HC Dinamo Minsk of the KHL.

Merkley was once considered a top prospect prior to being drafted by the Arizona Coyotes. After a few years in the desert, where he mostly played in the AHL, the native of Alberta was traded to the New Jersey Devils as part of a package that landed the Coyotes Taylor Hall. Merkley would get the bulk of his 41 career NHL games with the Devils over the course of the next two seasons, but still spent time in the AHL. In July of 2021, he was traded to San Jose for Christián Jaros. Less than a year later, Merkley was traded once again, this time to the New York Rangers for Anthony Bitteto at this past season's trade deadline. The rest of the season would be spent in the AHL with the Hartford Wolf Pack.

Elite Prospects calls Merkley a playmaking centre with a great eye for the game. Unfortunately, it says there's a lot of room for improvement areas such as puckhandling, footspeed, and decision-making.

Source: Championat.com
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