Nick Merkley had his debut for the New Jersey Devils and he collected his first NHL point. He had a good game despite the team around him playing awful.
The New Jersey Devils saw Nick Merkley have his debut and he collected his first NHL point. He had a good game despite the team losing. The Devils traded their superstar left wing Taylor Hall earlier this season to the Arizona Coyotes. A couple of prospects and draft picks came back to the Devils for Hall. One of those prospects was Merkley. He came into the Binghamton Devils room and was instantly one of the team’s most productive players. He earned himself a chance to come up and make his Devils debut.
It was his second NHL game after making his NHL debut with the Coyotes a while back. He was actually pretty impressive for his first game of the season in the big show. He made a beautiful pass to Joey Anderson to help him get his first goal in the NHL this season. It was really cool to see these two come together making a nice play.
Merkley was rather noticeable all game long. He was all over the ice every shift. He was throwing his body around while also being dangerous offensively. If he is able to keep this battle level up, he could find himself seeing more NHL ice as the season comes to an end. He made a good first impression with his new organization in his first chance.
The good Merkley play did come in a loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. They took advantage of all the Devils mistakes throughout the game to earn the 5-2 victory. These are the types of things we are going to want to see down the stretch. The guys who have a chance to be impact players beyond this season need to play well so they are given the opportunity. The team isn’t going to the playoffs so seeing the kids make an impression is the most important thing.
Their next game is a Sunday night home game against the league’s surprise team of the season in the Columbus Blue Jackets. It was a difficult offseason for the Blue Jackets, but they have surprised everyone by being right in the thick of the playoff race. This is a chance for the Devils to slow them down in the process.