Report: Michigan defenseman Jon Merrill signs contract with New Jersey Devils
Angela J. Cesere | AnnArbor.com file photo
On Tuesday, Michigan hockey coach Red Berenson said he thought it was time for defenseman Jon Merrill to move on to professional hockey.
A day later, it appears he has.
According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, Merrill has signed an entry level contract with the New Jersey Devils, which would end his career at Michigan after three seasons.
The Record of Bergen County, N.J., also reported the deal, and said Merrill has also signed an amateur tryout contract to join the Albany Devils of the American Hockey League for the remainder of the season.
An Albany spokesperson reached for comment said the team had "no transaction updates to report at this time." A representative for New Jersey had no comment at this time.
Merrill was a second-round pick of the Devils in 2010. In his three seasons at Michigan, Merrill compiled 11 goals and 36 assists in 86 games.
After a standout freshman season that included seven goals and 18 assists, Merrill missed part of his sophomore season due to a suspension and part of this past season with a cracked vertebrae.
“I think the kid on one side wanted to come back and finish, and the other side is excited about the next step,” Berenson said.
Merrill participated in an optional skate with the Michigan hockey team on Tuesday, but was not available for comment. Attempts to reach him on Wednesday have been unsuccessful.
The Wolverines will now wait to see if freshman defenseman Jacob Trouba will also be leaving Ann Arbor for the professional ranks. Trouba was the ninth overall pick of the Winnipeg Jets last year, and said Tuesday that he's in the process of deciding between signing a contract or returning for his sophomore year.