Mar 20, 2014; Newark, NJ, USA; Minnesota Wild right wing Justin Fontaine (14) chases down a puck defended by New Jersey Devils defenseman Jon Merrill (34) during the second period at the Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Hockey's Future Top 50 Prospects: Jon Merrill Sits At 22nd

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

The next group of Hockey’s Future Top 50 Prospects was released today, revealing numbers 21-30.

Jon Merrill becomes the third New Jersey Devil to be on the list and moved from his Fall ranking of #49 to #22. Merrill will likely be the last Devil to be on the list as Hockey’s Future previously named him the Top New Jersey Devils Prospect back in February.

Merrill is one of the Devils’ bright spots when it comes to promotions this season. Despite only totaling 2 goals and 7 assists in 45 games this season, Merrill has shown pretty solid defensive play. He has been far from perfect but has a lot of time to hone his craft.

Merrill has a lot of potential and can be a consistent starter for the Devils and may even be a consistent Top-4 Defenseman in the future. That will take quite some time but he has shown flashes of greatness this season.

The 2nd round pick of the 2010 NHL Draft has an 8.0 talent score and C probability of success on Hockey’s Future.

Hockey’s Future has this to say about him:

22. Jon Merrill, D, New Jersey Devils
Height: 6-3, Weight: 209, Fall ranking – 49

The 2013-14 season has been a baptism by fire for Merrill, who has spent the majority of his rookie pro season in the NHL. He has been mostly solid in his own end, and has averaged almost 19 minutes in a second or third-pairing role. A puck-moving defenseman by trade, Merrill has not shown up on the score sheet with great regularity this year, but nonetheless carries the puck with confidence and mostly does a good job of moving the play up ice. Merrill does have numerous parts of his game he needs to work on, however. Like many rookies, he is prone to mistakes and at times tries to do too much, though these are issues that can be fixed with proper coaching.

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