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Top 25 Under 25: Nick Merkley is waiting to impress at #13

Nick Merkley has had a bit of a time since he was drafted, but can he shine in his first year of pro?

Regina Pats v Kelowna Rockets Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images

13- Nick Merkley- Center/Right Wing

Where Did He Come From? 2015 round 1 #30 overall by Arizona Coyotes

Rank in last year’s 21 under 21? #6

Has He Played in the NHL?: Not yet.

About Nick Merkley:

Nick Merkley has the odd distinction of being the player whom was selected 30th by the Coyotes in 2015, but no one was able to watch it happen in the US. Why? Because they switched to track and field for the last pick. Merkley had a pretty good season coming off of ACL/MCL surgery last March: he was a point a game player in the regular season and started to light it up more in the playoffs before Kelowna was knocked out in the third round by the Seattle Thunderbirds.

Over his junior career with the Kelowna Rockets he has played 245 regular season games and 57 playoff games. He has a junior total regular season points of 259 (85 goals and 174 assists.) and a playoffs total of 66 points (15 goals and 51 assists).

It’s safe to say that Merkley is a playmaker.

Last year we weren’t sure if he would bounce back after the traumatic injury, and it seems he did. During Development Camp he played along side Lane Pederson (Center) and Clayton Keller (Left Wing) and they meshed well. Being able to see him go full speed at camp this season will let everyone see if Merkley is the player they think he is.

What does the future hold for Merkley?:

Nick Merkley has an advantage over a lot of the young players coming up in the Coyotes system. Merkley is both a center and a right wing who can make plays. The Coyotes are low on true right wings in their system, giving Merkley more of a chance of seeing the NHL sometime soon compared to other young wingers.

Merkley will most likely spend his first pro year in Tucson, maybe on Pederson’s wing, terrorizing goalies and defenseman on the other team. At least, that’s what we are hoping for.