Merrill, who was taken in the 13th round of the USHL draft, is still listed on Ohio's protected list. Though it seems like a long shot for a kid this young to suit up in the USHL this year, Merrill seems to be the one who can do it. He already stands in at 6'2" 175, so he has the size for the USHL level, but does he have what it takes mentally?
Ohio currently has defenseman on the roster, so Merrill could end up being the odd man out because of his age and lack of experience.
Outside of him being drafted by the Junior Blue Jackets, you probably recognize his name from when he committed to Michigan at the age of 14. It has also been reported that Merrill has received an invite from the NTDP to play for that program come next season.
Chris Dilks reported on the Select 15's, and made mention that Merrill was easily the best player on the ice.
Jon Merrill(Little Caesar’s(MI)): Easily the best player at the camp. He’s 6’3, but skates like he’s 5’9”. Very smooth with the puck. Excellent in the defensive zone. Does a great job of picking up his man in the defensive zone.Jon Merrill definitely has the skill, speed, and size to make it in the USHL. The only questions are if he is mentally ready and if he wants to play in the USHL. He can choose to stay close to home and spend time with the NTDP for 2 years after the 07-08 season. Here's hoping a kid with the talent level of Jon's chooses to spend some time in the USHL. Merrill will definitely be a player you'll want to keep an eye on in the next few years and while at Michigan.