Back In The Mix

Merrill-Feature

TROY, NY — The excitement surrounding Jon Merrill’s first NHL game was short lived. During his third shift at Minnesota on Nov. 3, the rookie defensemen fell into the boards awkwardly, resulting in a two-week layoff. Tuesday at Albany Devils practice at Knickerbacker Ice Arena, Merrill found some silver lining.

“It was a little shorter than I expected,” he said. “It was good to get up there and be around some of those guys in the locker room.”

After skating with New Jersey at AmeriHealth Pavilion, Merrill was returned to Albany late Monday. He arrived Tuesday in time for practice. His status for Wednesday’s 7 pm game against the Hartford Wolf Pack is still in question.

(PURCHASE: Ticket to the Devils vs. Wolf Pack game)

“We just saw the whites of his eyes this morning,” said Head Coach Rick Kowalsky. “He’s cleared for practice and I would imagine he’s cleared to play. We are going to have a conversation this afternoon to know for sure.”

According to Merrill, he is ready to step in and help extend Albany’s three game winning streak, but he knows the decision isn’t entirely his.

“It’s up to the coaching staff and the organization,” Merrill said. “We’ll see if I’m in the lineup tomorrow. I’m not really sure; whenever it is, I’ll be ready to go.”

Before his recall, the 21-year-old registered seven points in 11 AHL games. He has posted two goals and five assists.

“He’s a smart player,” Kowalsky said. “He moves the puck well. I think he’s anxious to get back in. We’ll see if he’s available tomorrow.”

Interviews

Roster

Goaltenders (2)
Keith Kinkaid, Scott Wedgewood

Defensemen (8)
Brandon Burlon, Seth Helgeson, Raman Hrabarenka, Dan Kelly, Corbin McPherson, Jon Merrill, Reece Scarlett, Harry Young

Forwards (15)
Reid Boucher, Riley Boychuk, Mike Hoeffel, Stefan Matteau, Chris McKelvie, Rostislav Olesz, Rod Pelley, Harri Pesonen, Tim Sestito, Mike Sislo, Scott Timmins, Joe Whitney, David Wohlberg, Darcy Zajac, Kelly Zajac

Photos

Head Coach Rick Kowalsky gives instructions during Tuesday's practice

Head Coach Rick Kowalsky gives instructions during Tuesday’s practice

Olesz Kinkaid

Rostislav Olesz screens Keith Kinkaid

Rod Pelley Reece Scarlett

Rod Pelley and Reece Scarlett have fun battling in front of the net

Joe Whitney

Joe Whitney sends a pass to the point

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