Merkley was waived by the Devils on Monday, Corey Masisak of The Athletic reports. This move comes a mild surprise, as Merkley was expected to make the team out of camp after registering a goal and an assist in a four-game cup of coffee with New Jersey last season. Acquired from Arizona as part of the return in the Taylor Hall trade last season, Merkley will look to earn a promotion to the NHL with a strong start to his minor-league campaign. The 2015 first-round pick has scored at least 34 points in all three of his AHL seasons, though his rookie totals of 18 goals and 39 points in 38 games at that level still represent Merkley's high-water marks.
Merkley's loan deal with Assat (Finland) has come to an end, and he will head back to North America ahead of the 2020-21 campaign, Corey Masisak of The Athletic reports. Merkley played in just four NHL games for the Devils last year, recording one goal on eight shots, one assist and nine hits. The 23-year-old center should compete for a roster spot during training camp but may not avoid spending some time in the minors with AHL Belleville. As such, he likely won't have a ton of value outside of deeper dynasty formats.
Merkley signed a one-year, two-way contract extension with the Devils on Wednesday. Merkley will begin the 2020-21 campaign with Assat of Finland's Liiga before returning to North America for New Jersey's training camp. The 23-year-old winger spent the majority of the 2019-20 season with the Devils' AHL affiliate, notching 19 points in 28 contesets, but he also made four appearances with the big club, picking up two points over that span. He'll likely have a similar role next season, so don't expect him to be a useful fantasy option.
Merkley was reassigned to AHL Binghamton on Monday. Merkley registered one goal and one helper during his four-game stint in the NHL. With the Devils potentially still selling pieces off prior to Monday's trade deadline, Merkley could find himself back in the NHL before long, perhaps even in time to suit up versus Detroit on Tuesday.
Merkley (face) will return to the lineup Saturday against the Capitals, Mike Morreale of NHL.com reports. Merkley missed Thursday's win over San Jose due to a facial laceration, but he'll tough it out against Washington. The 22-year-old rookie, who's picked up two points in three games this campaign, is expected to skate on the Devils' third line Saturday.
Last 7 Games
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