Detroit Red Wings trade Jon Merrill to Montreal for pick and prospect

Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Red Wings remain busy as the Monday NHL trade deadline looms.  General manager (GM) Steve Yzerman continues to work the phones and add much-needed draft capital.

Yzerman is sending one of the teams’ better defenders Jon Merrill North to join the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the 2021 NHL Entry Level Draft and forward Hayden Verbeek.

If the name sounds familiar, it’s because Verbeek is the nephew of former Detroit Red Wings forward and current assistant GM Pat Verbeek.  Verbeek has achieved just three points in seven AHL games this season.

This is an excellent trade if you are a Montreal fan.

Merrill has been very consistent on the backend for the Red Wings in 2021.  Merrill was initially drafted 38th overall in the second round of the 2010 NHL Entry Level Draft by the New Jersey Devils.

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After spending four years with the Devils, Merrill packed his bags and headed to Vegas, where he played three seasons with the expansion team.

The Detroit Red Wings signed the now 29-year old defenseman this past offseason to a one-year deal worth just $925,000.  He’s provided the organization with a reliable veteran body for a bargain price.

The Detroit Red Wings will add a low-end prospect plus an additional draft pick in the deal.

The Red Wings now sit with 11 total draft picks in the upcoming 2021 NHL Draft plus nine total picks in 2022.

This deal should prove to be very beneficial for the Montreal Canadiens, who currently sit fourth in the North Division, six points ahead of the Calgary Flames with three games in hand.  Montreal recently added veteran forward Eric Staal as they hope to lengthen out their lineup.

Merrill has averaged over 19-minutes of ice-time playing in 36 games this season, with the Detroit Red Wings playing as a plus-2.  He’s yet to score a goal in 2021, but that’s his forte understanding he’s scored just 12 goals in eight years.  He’s recorded five assists and maintains a Corsi For Percentage of 44.3%.

Next. 4 players packing their bags at the Trade Deadline. dark

Merrill will provide the Habs with a stable puck-moving third pairing defender as they hope to make some noise heading into what appears to be a first-round playoff series with their rivaled Toronto Maple Leafs.