The Detroit Red Wings have traded defensemen, Jon Merrill, to the Montreal Canadiens, for a fifth-round pick, originally of the Ottawa Senators, in the 2021 NHL entry draft and prospect Hayden Verbeek. Merrill has been one of the best defensemen on the Red Wings’ roster this season, playing 36 games for the team.
Injuries Have Taken Away Red Wings Trade Chips Ahead of Tomorrow’s Deadline
The NHL’s trade deadline is tomorrow at 3:00 PM eastern. The Red Wings’ General Manager Steve Yzerman has made two deals for future prospects, but injuries to trade chips have hampered his ability to acquire even more to continue rebuilding the Red Wings roster.
Merrill was acquired by the Red Wings in free agency in October of 2020 after he was not re-signed by the Vegas Golden Knights. He was originally drafted by the New Jersey Devils in 2010 and helped the Golden Knights reach the Stanley Cup final in their first year of existence, a series that they would ultimately lose to the Washington Capitals in five games.
The return on this deal is not as good as the previous deals that General Manager Steve Yzerman has made during the trade deadline period so far, at first blush. Fifth-round picks do not always work out. The ever-present prospect of the coronavirus will make scouting players in the 2021 NHL draft even more difficult. Verbeek is a small center/left-winger at only 5’10”. At only 23-years-old, Verbeek has plenty of time to grow into the player that the Canadiens saw when they signed him as an undrafted free-agent in March of 2018.
Red Wings fans will remember the name Verbeek as his uncle is Pat Verbeek, who played for the team for two seasons, scoring 22 and 15 goals in the 1999-2000 and 2000-2001 seasons respectively. The younger Verbeek certainly has the genetic makeup to make his way into the NHL. They will have to wait longer until the teams’ prospects begin to take shape and Verbeek is no exception to this.
main image credit