Red Wings trade defenseman Jon Merrill to Montreal in exchange for draft pick, prospect

Winging It In Motown

Steve Yzerman is sending defenseman Jon Merrill to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for a 2021 5th round pick, and forward Hayden Verbeek.

Merrill carries a $925k cap hit and will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. The 29-year-old has registered 5 assists through 36 games this season. Montreal is getting a real nice piece of depth for a bargain.

Hayden Verbeek is the nephew of Red Wings AGM Pat Verbeek. His production has been underwhelming since moving to pro hockey.. So it’s not really clear what we’re getting in a player like him. The 5th round pick in 2021 means the Red Wings now have 11 picks in the upcoming draft, which is welcomed news for all Red Wings fans.

I am also underwhelmed by this return. Merrill is a useful utility defenseman, and one would think that with his affordable cap hit, he should be able to net a better draft pick. At the end of the day, Merrill was signed as a free agent, so it’s prospect and a pick at the cost of no long-term assets. But as Prashanth noted above, he’s been consistently one of our best blue-liners when he’s in the lineup.

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