Merrill Leaves Michigan
Trouba May Not be Far Behind
CHN Staff Report
ANN ARBOR, Mich. Michigan junior defenseman Jon Merrill has decided to forego his senior season to sign with the NHL's New Jersey Devils, the team that drafted him in the second round in 2010.
In addition, freshman standout Jacob Trouba is expected to be not far behind. Trouba, who won a gold medal with Team USA's at this past year's World Junior Championship, was selected by Winnipeg in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft.
Merrill, a 6-foot-3 native of Brighton, Mich., has had, at times, a tumultuous career at Michigan, and many high points as well.
After being named to the CCHA All-Rookie Team in 2011, Merrill was suspended by coach Red Berenson for the first half of the 2011-12 season. He played that year for Team USA at the World Junior tournament, and came back to the Wolverines in January to help lead a surge into the NCAA tournament.
“Jon has an obligation to the team and he did not live up to those responsibilities,” Berenson said at the time.
Nevertheless, that first season, Merrill had seven goals and 25 points, the fourth-best point total for a freshman defenseman in school history.
This year, Merrill missed a good chunk of the first half of the season again, with a neck injury suffered in the team's first exhibition game. When he returned, he was paired with Trouba much of the time, and again helped lead a second-half turnaround that fell one game short of the NCAAs.
He had exact totals of 2-9—11 in 19 and 21 games, respectively, the last two seasons.