Jon Merrill won’t be looking for a new contract this summer after all. The Minnesota Wild have extended the pending free agent defenseman, signing him to a new three-year, $3.6MM contract that will carry him through the 2024-25 season.
Merill, 29, signed a one-year, $850K contract with the Wild last offseason after a Stanley Cup run with the Montreal Canadiens and was expected to be nothing more than a depth option. He’s quickly shown he can be more than that, averaging more than 17 minutes a night through 33 games and racking up 11 points. That has him on track to blow past his previous career-high of 15 points, set in 2018-19 with the Vegas Golden Knights, and has landed him this multi-year contract that brings a level of security and stability.
Selected 38th overall in 2010, Merill is on his fifth NHL organization already. Starting out with the New Jersey Devils, he then moved to the Golden Knights, Detroit Red Wings, and Canadiens before ending up in Minnesota. It’s with the Wild where he has found the best fit, and where he’ll be the next while after inking a three-year extension.
In that nine-year career, he’s played in 438 games, scoring 77 points while registering 557 blocked shots and 389 hits. A $1.2MM cap hit is still representative of his role on the Minnesota depth chart–that is, as an option well behind the likes of Jonas Brodin, Jared Spurgeon, and Matt Dumba–but also suggests that he’ll have a full-time role for the team moving forward. Jordie Benn and Alex Goligoski are both unrestricted free agents at the end of the season, though the latter is expected to sign an extension at some point to keep him in Minnesota.