Nick Merkley

by Keith Duggan on December 16, 2017

Nick Merkley - Photo Courtesy of CalgaryHerald.com

 

Nick Merkley, RC

Shoots: R

Height: 5-10

Weight: 183

Born: 1997-05-23

Hometown: Calgary, AB, CAN

Drafted: 2015 by Arizona Coyotes, 30th overall

 

 

 

Observations:

December 2017- The Coyotes have recalled Merkley from the AHL. He currently ranks second in goals and third in points among AHL rookies with 12 and 24 and has at least a point in 14 of his 20 games. While playing very well Merkley is still showing his fiesty side as he was just returning from a two game suspension, a consequence of a high-sticking incident in a game at Stockton on Dec. 9. Keith Duggan

November 2017- Merkley has gotten off to an excellent start to his pro career, racking up eight goals and 13 points in 11 games so far for Tucson of the AHL. He's found instant chemistry on a line with fellow 2015 first-round pick Dylan Strome and has six points in his last three games. Strome recently posted a picture to Instagram of him and Merkley fist-bumping with the caption, "Brother". His 1.18 points per game is currently second among AHL rookies, trailing only Strome. Keith Duggan

October 2017- Merkley will begin his pro career with Tucson of the AHL. He had an strong rookie camp with the Coyotes but struggled during the main camp, being held scoreless in two preseason games. Merkley is off to a good start picking up an assist in Tucson's opening night game. Keith Duggan

July 2017- Returning to the WHL, Merkley got off to a slow start which wasn't unexpected after missing a good chunk of 2015-16 season to a ACL injury. He put up five points in his first 10 games with Kelowna but as the season progressed so did his game. Merkley scored 58 points in his final 53 games, along with six goals and 19 points in 17 playoff games. He also showed his feistiness once again racking up 73 penalty minutes. With so many excellent prospects for the Coyotes, Merkley won't be rushed to the NHL and most likely spends 2017-18 in the AHL learning the pro game. Keith Duggan

October 2016- After spending about six months recovering and rehabbing from ACL surgery, Nick Merkley returned to the ice for the Coyotes main training camp, appearing in two preseason games before being returned to the Kelowna Rockets of the WHL. The Rockets, who have scored just nine goals in five games(1-4-0) this season, no doubt welcome the return of Merkley, who has 196 points in 182 career games in the WHL. Keith Duggan

February 2016- On 2/16, it was announced that Nick Merkley will miss the rest of the 2015/16 season and WHL playoff's after suffering a torn ACL as a result of a collision in a game on Feb. 5 against the Spokane Chiefs. Even though Merkley wasn't having as strong of a season as last year, it's still a big loss for the Kelowna Rockets, who are having an excellent season and are eying a run at the Memorial Cup. Merkley finished the year with 17 goals and 48 points in 43 games. Keith Duggan

November 2015- Nick Merkley has been named the WHL Player of the Week for week ending November 8th. He recorded eight points, four goals/four assists, in three games to help the Kelowna Rockets post a 3-0 record. Merkley has started the season slowly offensively but this latest hot streak has him at 17 points in 15 games and should be the start of good things to come. Keith Duggan

September 2015- After the Arizona Coyotes announced Nick Merkley will miss two weeks with a collarbone injury suffered during a rookie game against the LA Kings, guaranteeing he would miss the main camp, the young forward was returned his junior club the Kelowna Rockets. Some positive news though, before the rookie camp opened, Merkley was signed to a three-year, entry-level contract. While a tough break for Merkley to miss the Coyotes main camp, look for him to have a big season in the WHL. Keith Duggan

June 2015 - The Arizona Coyotes used the final pick in the first round to select assist machine Nick Merkley 30th overall. Brendan Ross

February 2015 – In the mold of a true playmaker, Nick Merkley’s vision, anticipation and imaginative passing abilities are in the top echelon of the draft. Kelowna’s top scoring forward is a very good skater with elusive puck skills and he’s shown to be one of the WHL’s most consistent producers. Blessed with a fantastic motor and relentless work ethic, Merkley has the ability to push the pace of the game and force turnovers on the attack. He doesn’t shy away from traffic and engages physically with one focus on his mind – getting possession of the puck. At times, he overcomplicates the game but his competitive nature and playmaking abilities will ensure he becomes a first round selection. Merkley’s 16 goals and 70 points in 51 games with Kelowna has him ranked among the WHL’s top scorers.-Brendan Ross

 

Fantasy Outlook: B+

Merkley is an undersized highly energetic playmaking pivot who projects as a middle-six centerman at the next level.

 

Footage:

Kelowna Rockets Nick Merkley:

 

Buy the latest Fantasy Prospects Report here.