For Jon Merrill, patience is a virtue on and off the ice.
In his first full season with the Albany Devils of the American Hockey League, the 21-year-old product of the University of Michigan is exercising his skills on both sides of the puck. He has seven points in nine games this season, which ranks him fourth on the team and first among Albany's defensemen.
"He sees the ice well and he certainly has some patience and composure with the puck," Albany coach Rick Kowalsky said. "He's very calm. He reads the refs, he reads pressure, he reads the forecheck well and is very comfortable making plays under pressure with guys on his back."
Merrill, who was drafted by the New Jersey Devils in the second round of the 2010 NHL Draft (No. 38), debated turning pro after his sophomore season but opted to remain in Ann Arbor and play for Michigan as a junior.
"I just felt like it was the right decision for myself," Merrill said. "I was happy with the team we had at Michigan and just wanted to give it one more crack."