02/24/2024

STL:

1

DET:

6

Final

MTL:

3

NJD:

4

Final

TBL:

4

NYI:

2

Final

NYR:

2

PHI:

1

Final

WSH:

2

FLA:

3

Final

TOR:

4

COL:

3

Final

VGK:

3

OTT:

4

Final

BOS:

2

VAN:

3

Final

DAL:

2

CAR:

1

Final

CGY:

6

EDM:

3

Final

MIN:

5

SEA:

2

Final

NSH:

4

SJS:

2

Final

ANA:

2

LAK:

3

Final

02/25/2024

TBL:

4

NJD:

1

Final

PHI:

6

PIT:

7

Final

CAR:

2

BUF:

3

Final

NYR:

2

CBJ:

4

Final

DET:

3

CHI:

2

Final

ARI:

3

WPG:

4

Final

NSH:

4

ANA:

2

Final

02/26/2024

OTT:

3

WSH:

6

Final

NYI:

3

DAL:

2

Final

LAK:

2

EDM:

4

Final

BOS:

3

SEA:

4

Final

02/27/2024

WSH:

3

DET:

8

Final

BUF:

2

FLA:

3

Final

ARI:

2

MTL:

4

Final

TBL:

2

PHI:

6

Final

VGK:

6

TOR:

2

Final

CAR:

3

MIN:

2

Final

OTT:

1

NSH:

4

Final

STL:

2

WPG:

4

Final

LAK:

2

CGY:

4

Final

DAL:

1

COL:

5

Final

PIT:

4

VAN:

3

Final

NJD:

7

SJS:

2

Final

02/28/2024

CBJ:

0

NYR:

0

07:00 ET

STL:

0

EDM:

0

08:30 ET

02/29/2024

VGK:

0

BOS:

0

07:00 ET

CAR:

0

CBJ:

0

07:00 ET

NYI:

0

DET:

0

07:00 ET

MTL:

0

FLA:

0

07:00 ET

BUF:

0

TBL:

0

07:00 ET

ARI:

0

TOR:

0

07:00 ET

WPG:

0

DAL:

0

08:00 ET

MIN:

0

NSH:

0

08:00 ET

COL:

0

CHI:

0

09:00 ET

PIT:

0

SEA:

0

10:00 ET

LAK:

0

VAN:

0

10:00 ET

ANA:

0

SJS:

0

10:30 ET

03/01/2024

ARI:

0

OTT:

0

07:00 ET

PHI:

0

WSH:

0

07:00 ET

NJD:

0

ANA:

0

10:00 ET

Who Will Be Jon Merrill’s Defensive Partner?

Creator: Andy Clayton-King | Credit: AP

Jon Merrill signed a one-year deal with the Minnesota Wild on July 29, 2021. Endearing himself to fans with his facial hair, missing tooth, and wild mullet, Merrill quickly established himself as a valuable defensive depth piece for the Wild. Merrill signed a three-year contract extension in January 2022.

Last Season

Merrill spent last season playing on the third pairing with a rotating partner. He usually played alongside Calen Addison or Alex Goligoski. Playing in 73 games, he ended the season with 12 points (2 goals and ten assists). Merrill was a dependable depth player over the season and also slotted in for two playoff games. Most of the games he missed were due to off-season surgery that he needed extra time to recover from.

Strengths

He’s a defensive defenseman. Merrill’s big size and great positioning skills mean that he blocks a lot of shots around the net. He’s a stay-at-home defenseman, which works well because he’s normally paired with a more offensive partner. While Alex Goligoski isn’t as much of an offensive threat as he has been in the past, Merill’s other partner, Calen Addison, was noted for racking up points when he played consistently last season.

Weaknesses

Despite his large size, Merrill isn’t overly physical. He also doesn’t have the best puck-handling skills. This lack of a specific “role” means that it’s hard to determine how to use him. That’s why he plays on the third pairing. Merill also tends to go unnoticed. That isn’t necessarily a weakness because of his defense-first style of play, but it does mean that many fans might underappreciate the things that he does well.

Next Season

The direction of Merill’s next season will depend partially on who he plays most of his games next to. Playing with Goligoski will be an effective defensive pair, but probably won’t put up many points. Playing with Addison might provide a more easily observed role on the team because of the points Addison scores.

(As of writing this article, Addison still hasn’t signed a new contract with the Wild. He will have to sign something soon, which is spoken about at length in this article.)

2023-24 Minnesota Wild Season Predictions

Kirill Kaprizov

Mats Zuccarello

Ryan Hartman

Freddy Gaudreau

Matt Boldy

Marcus Johansson

Joel Eriksson Ek

Marcus Foligno

Connor Dewar

Brandon Duhaime

Jared Spurgeon

Jake Middleton

Jonas Brodin

Brock Faber

Alex Goligoski

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