Ryan Merkley

by Peter Harling on November 25, 2017

[caption id="attachment_20720" align="alignnone" width="250"]Ryan Merkley of the Guelph Storm. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images[/caption]

Ryan Merkley, D

Shoots: R

Height: 5-11

Weight: 170

Born: 2000-08-14

Hometown:  Oakville, On

Drafted: 2018 NHL Draft eligible

 

 

 

 

 

Observations:

November 2017 – Ryan Merkley is a dynamic offensive defenseman with the Guelph Storm in the OHL. Merkley was the first overall pick in the 2016 OHL Priority Selection in 2016, he won the OHL rookie of the year award with most points by a rookie with 55 and in his draft eligible season he is posting over a point per game pace with seven goals and 29 points in the first 23 games.

Merkley is an exceptional skater with an explosive first step acceleration, high end top gear and shifty lateral agility. Merkley sees the ice offensively very well, is an exceptional puck distributor and generates offensive transition as good as any defenseman in his draft class. The concerns with Merkley are he is undersized and struggles with physical battles against bigger stronger opposition. But the main concern is his inability to defend effectively, his reads in the defensive zone are weak, and he chases the play out of position. When he has the puck on his stick, he is an elite player, but when the other team has possession he becomes a liability. The question is can he continue to develop his defensive game and evolve similarly to Samuel Girard, or will he fail to establish an adequate defensive skill set and cap out in the AHL like Anthony DeAngelo? -  Peter Harling

Fantasy Outlook: A-

Elite offensive defenseman

 

Footage:

Ryan Merkley Highlights via DraftAnalyst:

 

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