Jan 4, 2014; Buffalo, NY, USA; New Jersey Devils defenseman Jon Merrill (34) against the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Hockey's Future Names Jon Merrill As Devils Top Prospect

Dec 13, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New Jersey Devils defenseman Jon Merrill (34) moves the puck up ice against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Penguins won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

On February 21st, the popular prospect site Hockey’s Future released an updated list of the New Jersey Devil’s top prospects.

Jon Merrill is still at the top of their list. The 8.0 talent rated defenseman has played in 32 games in the NHL this season and has 1 goal and 4 assists. Coming into the season, he was one of the two NHL-ready defenders that were expected to see some sort of playing time this season.

They had this to say about him:

There is a reason Merrill remained in the NHL with New Jersey over the explosive Gelinas. He still makes mistakes like any rookie, but he has impressed his teammates and the coaches with his high hockey IQ. Since he came back from an injury in November, Merill looks more comfortable and confident. He is not known for making highlight reel plays, but is smart and prevents scoring chances. Merrill is not a high scorer, but he picks his spots to jump into the action or make a critical pass. Before the Olympic break, he earned a healthy amount of playing time, especially on the second powerplay unit and penalty kill.

Right underneath him is another defensive prospect.

It’s not Eric Gelinas, it’s Damon Severson. Damon is currently playing in the WHL with the Kelwona Rockets and has 50 points in 52 games. He also retained his second spot.

Coming in 3rd, and moving up 3 spots is fan-favorite Eric Gelinas. Gelinas has played in 44 games in New Jersey and has 6 goals and 16 assists.

In 4th, Reid Boucher falls one spot as he is coming off of a highly-anticipated stint in New Jersey to make his NHL debut.

Rounding out the Top-5 is Keith Kinkaid who moved up 5 spots on their rankings as he is putting up spectacular numbers in Albany this season.

Full rankings and more details from their report will be posted in the coming days. Reaction will also be coming soon.

Stats and information courtesy of the Devils Official Site, CapGeek, and Hockey’s Future.

Tags: Damon Severson Eric Gelinas Jon Merrill Keith Kinkaid Reid Boucher

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