Connect with us

San Jose Sharks

Ryan Merkley Is Growing Up



Ryan Merkley, San Jose Sharks, San Jose Barracuda
Credit: San Jose Barracuda

Ryan Merkley isn’t even 20.

But it feels like he’s been in the public eye forever, doesn’t it?

Since the Guelph Storm made the 15-year-old the No. 1 pick in the 2016 OHL Draft, Merkley has experienced a series of very public ups and downs.

In his rookie season, there was a bench argument with his head coach. Despite top-five talent, questions about his maturity and defensive commitment caused him to drop to No. 21 in the 2018 NHL Draft to the San Jose Sharks. Even last year, Merkley was subjected to an outlandish rumor that he had been sent down to a Junior B team.

But through it all, Merkley has continued to produce: His 269 career points is the most among all 2000-born OHL defensemen. And by most accounts, his temperament and defensive game have improved by leaps and bounds.

Turning 20 this Friday, the San Jose Sharks’ top prospect is now getting ready for his first pro season from his Oakville, Ontario home.

San Jose Hockey Now caught up with Merkley, who spoke candidly about how he used to “coast” on the ice, what’s inspired him to get ahold of his emotions, and what he’s learned from Erik Karlsson, Brent Burns, and Marc-Edouard Vlasic. He also reflected on the dark side of being a teenage hockey celebrity in Canada and how he and his parents have learned to cope with the overwhelming attention.

This content is for SJHN+ subscribers only. Get this exclusive content and an ad-free experience for only $4.49 per month or get your first year for just $39.99!

Current subscribers, please log in to view.

Log In Join Now

Welcome to your new home for San Jose Sharks breaking news, analysis and opinion. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and don't forget to subscribe to SJHN+ for all of our members-only content from Sheng Peng and the National Hockey Now network plus an ad-free browsing experience.

Sheng’s Travel Fund

Help fund Sheng's travel! Every dollar goes to the cost of getting to and from Sharks road games.

Click here to contribute to Sheng's travel pool!

Get SJHN in your inbox!

Enter your email address to get all of our articles delivered directly to your inbox.

Hockey Shots

Extra Hour Hockey Training

Cathy’s Power Skating

Sharks Team & Cap Info

SJHN on Facebook