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Name to Know: Nick Merkley

by Dave Vest @davest4yotes / Coyotes Sr. Director of News Content

GLENDALE -- Prospect Nick Merkley is the top point producer currently playing for the Tucson Roadrunners, Arizona's affiliate in the American Hockey League.

Merkley, whom the Coyotes drafted 30th overall in 2015, has produced 12 goals and 11 assists in 18 games. His 23 points rank seventh in the AHL, and only two players in the league have scored more goals.


Merkley starred for the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League for four seasons before turning pro this season.

"The coaches have said I've been playing even better here than I did down there (in Kelowna)," Merkley said. "I think my game is translating really well to pro and I've just got to keep doing what I'm doing."

Merkley's coaches in Tucson like his willingness to engage in puck battles and his ability to score goals from "the dirty areas" on the ice.

Playing winger on Tucson's top line, Merkley, a 20-year-old native of Calgary, has been focusing on playmaking.

"My biggest thing is just moving my feet a lot, and trying to create turnovers and get in there on the forecheck," Merkley said. "I think I have pretty good vision and can find guys out there. I think those are my biggest things, that and obviously trying to score and produce for the team."

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