DETROIT -- The Detroit Red Wings today acquired center Hayden Verbeek and Ottawa's fifth-round pick in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for defenseman Jon Merrill.
Verbeek, 23, has appeared in seven games this season for the American Hockey League's Laval Rocket, contributing three points (1-2-3) and a plus-four rating. He began this season with HC Banska Bystrica in the top Slovakian professional league, scoring two goals in four games before returning to North America. The 5-foot-10, 183-pound forward has skated in 61 AHL games with Laval over his three professional seasons, registering 10 points (5-5-10) and 19 penalty minutes. Verbeek has also skated in 25 career ECHL games between the Maine Mariners and Adirondack Thunder, logging 22 points (5-17-22), a plus-seven rating and six penalty minutes.
Originally signed by Montreal as an undrafted free agent on March 25, 2018, Verbeek spent parts of five seasons with the Ontario Hockey League's Soo Greyhounds from 2013-18, logging 136 points (59-77-136), a plus-50 rating and 114 penalty minutes in 250 games. He also logged 20 points (7-13-20), a plus-13 rating and 37 penalty minutes in 45 career OHL postseason games. A native of Kingston, Ontario, Verbeek is the nephew of former Detroit forward (1999-01) and current Red Wings assistant general manager Pat Verbeek.
Having acquired three draft picks over the last three days, the Red Wings are up 20 draft picks combined between the 2021 and 2022 NHL Entry Drafts after drafting an NHL-high 33 players over the last three Entry Drafts (2018-20). For this summer's 2021 NHL Entry Draft, Detroit has its own pick in the first six rounds, in addition to two additional second-round choices (Edmonton and NY Rangers) and one extra pick in the third (Vegas), fourth (Tampa Bay) and fifth (Ottawa) rounds. In the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, the Red Wings have their own picks in all seven rounds plus two additional selections in the fourth round (Colorado and Vegas).