NEWARK, N.J. -- There's no doubt defenseman Jon Merrill has all the tools necessary to one day become a steady force along the blue line for the New Jersey Devils.
That's precisely why the organization selected the 6-foot-3, 210-pounder -- born in Oklahoma City and raised in Michigan -- in the second round (No. 38) of the 2010 Draft. His poise off the transition, ability to quarterback a power play and consistency in killing penalties are areas in which the Devils could certainly benefit.
The only thing seemingly hanging over Merrill's head at this stage in his hockey career is his maturity. As a freshman at the University of Michigan in 2010-11, Merrill led all Wolverine defensemen in points (25), assists (18) and blocked shots (70), while helping lead the team to the 2011 NCAA National Championship game.