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Fantasy Summary

Merkley is a skilled and energetic forward who plays an entertaining style. Unfortunately, injuries have curbed a once promising career.


Observations

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October 2020 – Merkley has been loaned to Ässät Pori in the Liiga until hostilities resume in the NHL, and has not made the best first impression 25 penalty minutes and zero points in two games playing on Pori’s top-six aren’t the most lovely of numbers as he was ejected for a late hit in his first game. Merkley does have the overall ability to perform in the NHL, as his two points in four games clearly show. His upside is still severely limited by his lack of elite skating, shooting, or passing ability which, combined with his age, lead me to believe he’s destined for a 4th-line role. Hadi Kalakeche

March 2020 – Merkley kept up his consistency and managed 19 points in 26 games with Binghamton. It’s not just the eight goals but his overall level of play was a real spark as the AHL Devils have clawed into a playoff spot. Also, his four-game cup of coffee in New Jersey showed that Merkley has some ability to play at the next level.  Chris Wassel 

January 2020 – Merkley has had a nice start in Binghamton and most importantly has stayed healthy. He scored four goals and 11 points in his first 13 games with the AHL Devils. It would not be surprising to see him called up after the All-Star Break.  Chris Wassel

December 2019 – Merkley has been traded from Arizona to New Jersey as part of the Taylor Hall deal.  Jokke Nevalainen

October 2019- Coming into training camp healthy, Merkley was expected to possibly make a run at a roster spot. Instead, he mostly had a quiet camp and was assigned to Tucson, where he’ll now play in his third pro season. His skill has never been questioned, but Merkley needs to stay off the IR. Keith Duggan

April 2019- After a midseason offensive slump that saw Merkley go 27 games without a goal, the winger has gotten hot again as he helps Tucson try to get into the playoffs. He has five points in his last four games, including a hat trick in what is almost must-win games for the Roadrunners to get into the playoffs. Returning from major knee surgery, it’s been an adjustment for Merkley this year but he’s still put up 30 points in 41 games so far. Keith Duggan

January 2019- Merkley’s been hot as of late, now up to nine points in as many games.  He recently ended a five-game point streak where Merkley had eight points. Keith Duggan

December 2018- Returning from yet another major injury and surgery, Merkley is back in the Tucson lineup, skating on the team’s first line. He’s been rusty since returning but that was expected after missing so much time recuperating from knee surgery. His offensive game has been returning though as Merkley has one goal and three points in five games so far. Keith Duggan

October 2018- Merkley has yet to appear in a game so far in 2018-19 as he still recovers from knee surgery last spring. He remains with the Coyotes practicing but when Merkley is cleared to play it’s expected he’ll be sent to Tucson of the AHL to get back into game shape. Keith Duggan

March 2018- The Coyotes announced that Merkley will miss the remainder of this season with a lower-body injury. He was hurt in a game on March 20th and the injury is suspected to be to his right knee. It’s a tough blow to Merkley who was having himself an excellent rookie pro season, racking up 39 points in 38 games for Tucson and also the AHL team who lost one of their best players right before the playoffs. The injury isn’t expected to have any long term impacts and Merkley should be contending for a roster spot with the Coyotes in 2018-19. Keith Duggan

March 2018- After missing Tucson’s previous 11 games with an upper-body injury and 16 of the last 17, (he did play in the AHL All-Star Game though) Merkley returned this past weekend, showing no rust to his game at all. He racked up two assists in three games, finding instant chemistry with Dylan Strome once again. After an unheralded start to the 2017-18 season, Merkley looks to be right behind Strome as the Coyotes top prospect right now. Keith Duggan

December 2017- The Coyotes have recalled Merkley from the AHL. He currently ranks second in goals and third in points among AHL rookies with 12 and 24 and has at least a point in 14 of his 20 games. While playing very well Merkley is still showing his feisty side as he was just returning from a two-game suspension, a consequence of a high-sticking incident in a game at Stockton on Dec. 9. Keith Duggan

November 2017- Merkley has gotten off to an excellent start to his pro career, racking up eight goals and 13 points in 11 games so far for Tucson of the AHL. He’s found instant chemistry on a line with fellow 2015 first-round pick Dylan Strome and has six points in his last three games. Strome recently posted a picture to Instagram of him and Merkley fist-bumping with the caption, “Brother”. His 1.18 points per game are currently second among AHL rookies, trailing only Strome. Keith Duggan

October 2017- Merkley will begin his pro career with Tucson of the AHL. He had a strong rookie camp with the Coyotes but struggled during the main camp, being held scoreless in two preseason games. Merkley is off to a good start picking up an assist in Tucson’s opening night game. Keith Duggan

July 2017- Returning to the WHL, Merkley got off to a slow start which wasn’t unexpected after missing a good chunk of 2015-16 season to an ACL injury. He put up five points in his first 10 games with Kelowna but as the season progressed so did his game. Merkley scored 58 points in his final 53 games, along with six goals and 19 points in 17 playoff games. He also showed his feistiness once again racking up 73 penalty minutes. With so many excellent prospects for the Coyotes, Merkley won’t be rushed to the NHL and most likely spends 2017-18 in the AHL learning the pro game. Keith Duggan

October 2016- After spending about six months recovering and rehabbing from ACL surgery, Nick Merkley returned to the ice for the Coyotes main training camp, appearing in two preseason games before being returned to the Kelowna Rockets of the WHL. The Rockets, who have scored just nine goals in five games(1-4-0) this season, no doubt welcome the return of Merkley, who has 196 points in 182 career games in the WHL. Keith Duggan

February 2016- On 2/16, it was announced that Nick Merkley will miss the rest of the 2015/16 season and WHL playoffs after suffering a torn ACL as a result of a collision in a game on Feb. 5 against the Spokane Chiefs. Even though Merkley wasn’t having as strong of a season as last year, it’s still a big loss for the Kelowna Rockets, who is having an excellent season and are eying a run at the Memorial Cup. Merkley finished the year with 17 goals and 48 points in 43 games. Keith Duggan

November 2015- Nick Merkley has been named the WHL Player of the Week for the week ending November 8th. He recorded eight points, four goals/four assists, in three games to help the Kelowna Rockets post a 3-0 record. Merkley has started the season slowly offensively but this latest hot streak has him at 17 points in 15 games and should be the start of good things to come. Keith Duggan

September 2015- After the Arizona Coyotes announced Nick Merkley will miss two weeks with a collarbone injury suffered during a rookie game against the LA Kings, guaranteeing he would miss the main camp, the young forward was returned his junior club the Kelowna Rockets. Some positive news though, before the rookie camp opened, Merkley was signed to a three-year, entry-level contract. While a tough break for Merkley to miss the Coyotes main camp, look for him to have a big season in the WHL. Keith Duggan

June 2015 – The Arizona Coyotes used the final pick in the first round to select assist machine Nick Merkley 30th overall. Brendan Ross

February 2015 – In the mold of a true playmaker, Nick Merkley’s vision, anticipation, and imaginative passing abilities are in the top echelon of the draft. Kelowna’s top-scoring forward is a very good skater with elusive puck skills and he’s shown to be one of the WHL’s most consistent producers. Blessed with a fantastic motor and relentless work ethic, Merkley can push the pace of the game and force turnovers on the attack. He doesn’t shy away from traffic and engages physically with one focus on his mind – getting possession of the puck. At times, he overcomplicates the game but his competitive nature and playmaking abilities will ensure he becomes a first-round selection. Merkley’s 16 goals and 70 points in 51 games with Kelowna has him ranked among the WHL’s top scorers.Brendan Ross

Attributes
Fantasy Upside 7.5
NHL Certainty 8.0
Country CAN
Position RW
Roster Type Minors
Shoot/Glove Right
Date of Birth May 23, 1997
Height 5‘10”
Weight 183 lbs
Drafted 2015 Round 1; Overall: 30

Stats

 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2010-2011 Calgary Bisons U15 AAAAEHL U1531 16 1834 20|        
 2011-2012 Calgary Bisons U15 AAAAEHL U1532 41 3273 42|Playoffs9 9 413 14 
  Calgary Bisons U15 AAAJohn Reid Bantam5 6 410 12|        
  Team Calgary South Alberta Cup5 5 38 4|        
 2012-2013 Calgary Buffaloes U18 AAAAEHL U1830 14 1933 95|Playoffs11 4 610 16 
  Team Alberta WCCC-163 1 67 -|        
  Kelowna RocketsWHL1 0 00 0|Playoffs7 0 33
 2013-2014 Kelowna RocketsWHL66 25 3358 46|Playoffs14 4 1317 12 
  Canada Pacific U17WHC-176 2 35 14|        
 2014-2015 Kelowna RocketsWHL72 20 7090 79|Playoffs19 5 2227 18 
  Kelowna RocketsM-Cup5 3 25 14|        
  Team White U18-Dev3 0 11 6|        
  Canada U18Hlinka Gretzky Cup5 0 44 8|        
 2015-2016 Kelowna RocketsWHL43 17 3148 44|        
  WHL All-StarsJr Super Series2 0 00 0|        
 2016-2017 Kelowna RocketsWHL63 23 4063 73|Playoffs17 6 1319 22 
  WHL All-StarsJr Super Series2 0 33 0|        
 2017-2018 Arizona CoyotesNHL1 0 00 2|        
  Tucson RoadrunnersAHL38 18 2139 22|        
 2018-2019 Tucson RoadrunnersAHL45 10 2434 26|        
 2019-2020 Tucson RoadrunnersAHL26 3 1316 10|        
  New Jersey DevilsNHL4 1 12 2|        
  Binghamton DevilsAHL28 8 1119 16|        
 2020-2021 ÄssätLiiga19 4 913 33|        

Highlights