We’ve brought you many a story about how Liam Kirk has been doing in his debut OHL year for the Peterborough Petes.
While we’re obviously going to try and spin this article to focus on the nations hockey sweetheart, it’s more about his newest teammate.
The Peterborough Petes have completed a trade with the Guelph Storm (who they actually faced hours after the trade was announced, ending in a 6 – 1 victory for Guelph) with the Petes sending one player and a bunch of draft picks to the Storm for just one player.
The player in question? Ryan Merkley, an 18-year-old blueliner who the San Jose Sharks selected with the 21st pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.
He’s been with the Guelph Storm since they took him with the first overall pick in the 2016 OHL Priority Selection Draft, and while there are rumours of him being a difficult character, he’s got the skill level of an elite prospect so his arrival in Peterborough could be a huge boost to not just Liam Kirk, but the entire roster.
With Merkley arriving, the Petes gave up forward Pavel Gogolev who had been having a great season with 19 points in 29 games, while they also gave up the following draft picks.
2019 – 2nd round
2021 – 3rd round (originally Windsor’s selection)
2022 – 4th round (conditional)
2023 – 2nd round (conditional)
2024 – 3rd round (conditional)
With so many draft picks in later years, it means a kid who hasn’t even had his 10th birthday just technically got traded.
Merkley will be able to bring in a lot of defensive help to the Petes, as well as a high amount of points. Before the deal, Merkley had posted 39 points in 28 games, easily on pace to eclipse his total of 67 last year.
The only knock you hear about the 18-year-old is personal rather than about his play. Reportedly some teams had him on their “do not draft” lists this past summer, but there’s no denying the talent he has, and was possibly the best defenseman in the 2018 Draft behind Rasmus Dahlin.
Merkley will make his Petes debut tomorrow when the Petes take on the Ottawa 67s at an earlier faceoff time that means more of us fans in the UK can catch Liam Kirk at around 7pm GMT as he and the Petes newcomer Merkley look to bounce back from last nights 6 – 1 loss.
Featured Image: Gopetesgo.com